Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sin=Punishment

Whether it be fantasy, mystery, romance, or any other type of fiction, as well as non-fiction in most cases, when the good guy does something bad, they should be punished.  This is very important, as it displays the morals and the ethics (they are different) of the author, as well as the protagonist and supporting characters.  It's also the natural order of things the way God designed it.  When someone does something wrong they should, and will be punished.  [The last sentence is talking about real life, not books]  There are some authors that try to avoid punishing their characters for doing wrong, this is completely wrong, and in addition to not being a good book, it also is against the Bible.  Don't ask which books do this, I know of at least seven, and if I told you their titles it could spark unneeded debate.

For example, take this completely random situation (I just made it up, it is not from any book, also, don't judge it, it's just an example, I didn't spend hours editing it lol):

Sleen took a hammer to the window.  He heard a crack and then glass falling on the ground.
He crept down the isles of the dark store, completely alone.  He checked his watch, 1:30 AM, he only had five minutes to get it and get out.  He found what he was looking for while waving his flashlight around.  He brought out a hammer and smashed a lock on a cabinet, grabbed a small portable computer and ran for the door.
Sleen noticed a police car was parked on the other side of the street, the officer standing at the door of the building opposite to the store.  The officer ran over to the door, not wasting a moment.

Now, we know nothing about this guy[Sleen], but let's assume he's a good guy.  He works hard everyday to provide for his family of three, but he just has to have this computer.  From here we can take the story two different ways, only one is Biblical, has morals/ethics, and only one makes sense.

Option one
As the officer got closer Sleen started to feel himself panic, he wasn't a bad guy, he was just in a bad situation.  However the police officer didn't seem to be coming to arrest him, he simply waved and approached very friendly.  "Whatcha got there?" the office asked while shining his flashlight on Sleen and then shining it on the window of the store that had been broken.
"Oh, nothing..." Sleen said nervously.
"You got the new Shiny-Laptopo(fictional computer)I hear that this is the top-of-the-line computer."
"Really? That's good." Sleen said, still panicking within.
"Okay, well you have a good night now." The officer said as he turned to go back to the other building.

Option two
As the officer got closer Sleen started to feel himself panic, he wasn't a criminal, he didn't kill people, he just wanted a computer.  The officer crossed the street in a flurry and brought his gun out from his belt, "Freeze!  Put your hands in the air and set down the computer down softly,"  Sleen obeyed.  "You're under arrest," the officer quickly grabbed his hands and cuffed them, then shuffled him over to the police car.

I don't think I need to tell you, but the second one is right.  Does it make sense that a police officer would just let the person go after breaking into a store and stealing a laptop?  No, it's against the law and against the Bible.  This is something we've got to remember when writing, we can't let our good guys deeds go unpunished.  We just can't.  Now, you may ask "Are you saying that we should let our bad guys go unpunished?", and I would say yes.  And no.  Yes, they will not be punished yet, though sometimes you can throw in a defeat in battle or whatever fits to your book.  The reason I say no though is because eventually they'll get what's coming to them.  Take for example the devil.  He sinned, he was punished by not being an angel, or being able to reside in Heaven, but in addition he'll be punished in the end, he will suffer forever in his pit.

15 comments:

Madeline said...

Hmmm. Yes, in real life the "bad guy" should get punished (and will eventually, after he dies, if he hasn't later put his trust in God) - but unfortunately, all too often the bad guy really does get away without his just desserts. As a reader, most of the time we would love for the bad guy to be vanquished, but again, that's just not always how real life works, so why should it always be that way in books?

Also, even if the bad guy did always get punished in real life, an author does not have to follow the pattern "real life" sets if it moves his story along or if it's simply what he wants for his story (take Eragon for example - are dragons real? If they were, could they talk? I don't think so. That's not true to "real life", but that's why it's a story).

Millardthemk said...

Madeline, he said a good guy should get punished, and was talking about being "morally real" not practically.

Seth said...

Yep Millard, that is exactly what I was saying.

Wayne Leeke said...

Option one
As the officer got closer Sleen started to feel himself panic, he wasn't a bad guy, he was just in a bad situation. However the police officer didn't seem to be coming to arrest him, he simply waved and approached very friendly. "Whatcha got there?" the officer asked.
"Oh, nothing..." Sleen said nervously.
"You got the new Shiny-Laptopo(fictional computer)? I hear that this is the top-of-the-line computer."
"Really? That's good." Sleen said, still panicking within.
"Okay, well you have a good night now." The officer said as he turned to go back to the other building.

-Events like this do occur however. Think about it; you didn't explain in enough detail. Take in account that the cop has no real reason to think he stole the computer. It could be dark, so the cop could totally miss the man's expression of guilt. You're not taking in account the variables that effect a person's judgement. Also, you even stated that Sleen is a nice guy and didn't do anything wrong. This example is invalid and doesn't quite make logic sense to your argument.

Option two
As the officer got closer Sleen started to feel himself panic, he wasn't a criminal, he didn't kill people, he just wanted a computer. The officer crossed the street in a flurry and brought his gun out from his belt, "Freeze! Put your hands in the air and set down the computer down softly," Sleen obeyed. "You're under arrest," the officer quickly grabbed his hands and cuffed them, then shuffled him over to the police car.

-Once again you didn't use detail. From this I could infer that Sleen has a strong phobia of cops for some reason. The cop saw this as guilt and decided to act, thus freaking Sleen out. The cop then decided it would be best to arrest him. This scene could be a misunderstanding.

Don't get me wrong with what I'm trying to say, as I agree with you. I'm just trying to say that your argument is horrid and should be redone. It's full of wholes, and anyone could pick it a part. Try redoing the examples.

Seth said...

If I were to go into any more detail I would be accused of a long example, I can't please everybody, sorry. I assumed that reader would know that in the average robbery there would be a broken window/door. Also there would be some kind of alarm, big or small, depending on the stores alarm system. So that kinda disproves both of your points, sorry.

Aidan Romero said...

Yes, the bad guys will get what they deserve, that's God's way. But letting the villain escape without having a sequel to go after him isn't very satisfactory.

Seth said...

No it's not. And in most books there will be a sequel or it will be just one book, and at the end the villian will get what's coming. But in real life we may not always get to see them punished, nor is it always our right to see it, as that would be, in a form, enjoying our enemies to suffer. Did that make sense?

Wayne Leeke said...

It doesn't need to be longer in order to be detailed.

Also, not all shops have an alarm, and even with those that do, the shop keeper could foolishly forget to lock up. There would be no signs of a break in. Assuming that there would be noticeable signs is a foolish assumption.

"I assumed that reader would know that in the average robbery there would be a broken window/door."

Show proof that this is what happens in the average robbery. A number of robberies are the result of a greedy employee.

Beorn said...

Honestly, I disagree with some of this. For one thing, the punishment does not have to be physical. There could be some serious regret spreading through that person's mind.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but does someone always have to be punished? God will eventually judge everyone on judgment day. Again, correct me if I'm wrong, I'm just not sure if a person is always punished in life.

Wayne Leeke said...

Honestly, I disagree with some of this. For one thing, the punishment does not have to be physical. There could be some serious regret spreading through that person's mind.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but does someone always have to be punished? God will eventually judge everyone on judgment day. Again, correct me if I'm wrong, I'm just not sure if a person is always punished in life.

-Karma? You do something bad, god punishes you. Maybe he just spreads out the punishment over time.

Seth said...

Beorn: Where do I say that it needs to be physical? I may have and I forgot, but I don't think I did.

Beorn said...

Oh, you didn't say that. It's just the whole thing about getting caught by the police. You could have made another example later on (if he didn't get caught) showing what was going through the man's mind

Beorn said...

Heeh, wish I could edit my comments =)

Okay, I said the wrong thing in my first comment: I don't disagree with what you said, I only thought you could have added more outcomes of the man who stole the laptop. Maybe he wasn't punished right away. Maybe the computer blew up the following day, ruining the room it was in (hehe); maybe he felt guilty for what he did (this alone can be a slow and dreaded punishment).

Millardthemk said...

Hey Wayne, could ya tone down your responses a bit? State the same things, phrases like "foolish assumption" are not real nice to read. heh**

I am still waiting to comment, I shall see if more info is turned up.

Wayne Leeke said...

Sorry Millardthemk, I can get a little mean at times. I'll try to be a little nicer. I also tend to quote who ever I'm responding to. Old habit I guess.