I assumed your guide stemmed from your experiences with writing fanfic and, as I stated, I understand your point. I was merely adding a different perspective.

Always good <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> I'm not sure a writer can ever have too many perspectives on writing. Each one teaches us something new <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

I never meant to imply otherwise, Elliot. And I apologize if my message implicated you did not explain your theory.

I didn't fully explain it though <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

One of my most horrible habits is a tendency to over-explain, and I sometimes miss out too much when trying to avoid that.

Any subject that is not 'understood' [misunderstood] by the general public, is usually quite chilling. I think that's where the tenor of suspense comes into play. It could be mental illness, which we, as a society tend to treat as an embarrassment rather than the disease that it is or it could be cultural differences by way of religious rituals. General society does not embrace ideas they do not a) understand; b) that requires a new way of thinking [i.e., change]; or c) that are foreign to them. Insanity happens to be one of them. And because of that, it's been exploited by many authors.

All of which is very true <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> I personally prefer that the reader feel some identification with the villain as well as the hero when I am writing human{ish) villains. I find that the most memorable villains have a worldview that the reader can actually agree with to an extent, or at the least understand. It makes the process of making a moral choice to support the hero unreservedly that much harder <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Alien-ness can be a very useful tool/weapon, I agree. But to me, someone who orders the deaths of thousands of people (Or more) out of some misguided sense of rightness is far creepier than someone who does it because he gets a thrill out of death.

Different perspectives, as you say <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

I think the point I was trying to make (and did so poorly) was that the author should not 'excuse' any behavior. If the 'insanity' issue has been well-researched and employed as a literary device, the reader shouldn't jump to the conclusion that it's being used as an 'excuse'. If anything it should add depth to that villain or antagonist (and even, in some cases, the protagonist). That's all I was saying.

I thought you made your point very well, actually <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> It's just an aspect of writing we don't quite agree on. But then - wouldn't it be boring if all writers everywhere used the exact same rules and standards? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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