Heroes vs. Villains: Which Perspective?
Do you have a preference for heroes or villains when it comes to who tells a story? Alex, our featured author for October, often tells a story from the villain’s point of view, exploring the motivations and “humanity” (or lack thereof), of characters who see things from the darker side of the spectrum.
I think it’s far more common to tell stories from the hero’s perspective, where we can really empathize with the main character and put ourselves in their shoes to “relive” the story they’re recounting.
And of course there are books with an ambiguous hero/villain. Often the same person, the hero is plagued with the desire to step outside their mundane life and do things that may not be directly in line with their own moral code. The struggle comes from within, and the side that wins is anyone’s guess right up until the end.
Personally, I like both approaches. I like trying to see things from the bad guy’s perspective, and learning what motivates him or her, but I also like following the hero through whatever journey he or she took for that particular story/trip.
But I think an ambiguous hero can really be fascinating – the interplay between two halves of of a single personality is really interesting, and the end result is generally quite surprising.
Do you have a favorite perspective to hear from when you read? And if you’re a writer, do you have a favorite perspective to write stories with?
Wanna write? Pick a prompt!
Prose Writing Prompt of the Week: A woman goes into a bar and threatens the bartender with something in her pocket, but she’s stopped by a person having a drink at the time. Write the story from at least two different perspectives.
Poetry Prompt of the Week: Write a poem from the perspective of a squirrel gathering nuts for the winter.