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capemeareslthouse

Revenge

I've heard it said that one motive for artists is often revenge--the chance to make a story turn out the way it "should have." The chance to disguise a real-life enemy as a fictional villain. The opportunity to create something so amazing it "shows the world" what they overlooked.

I don't think revenge operates much in my own creative process. In fact, I rarely even use anger as a motivator. Everything I write when angry tends to come off priggish and didactic; apparently my Angry Writer Side cannot resist the soapbox. It's one reason I rarely rant on this blog. Some people can do angry writing in a very entertaining manner; some use angry writing to make great points. Nora Ephron's novel Heartburn is a perfect example of a revenge-based novel that really works as a piece of fiction.

For me, inspiration comes from another place. I seem driven to try to make human behavior understandable. Not necessarily justifiable or condoned or celebrated, but understandable.

Are you ever motivated by revenge or anger?
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Comments

Anger? A blog post or two. Fiction, never.
Blogs are sometimes useful that way. ;-)
never motivated by anger. I also like to make understandable any conduct, all of us have reasons to what we do even if it is something really bad. maybe that character had a really bad childhood or pshycological problems.
Every person makes sense to himself, so I try to figure out what the world looks like from inside other people's heads.
motivated by anger or revenge? no. not in writing. i may have a revenge thread in a story...but it is NOT the point of the story. and i am not a vengeful person by nature...don't see the point.
It's nice to see so many non-vengeful commenters here! :-)
I'm frequently motivated by revenge...just not in my writing. ; )

Seriously though, I find that I write much better when I'm chilled out. Trying to express anger or delve into my own issues in my writing never works. Unless it's a character's anger, but then that's another topic entirely...
Often there needs to be some reflection or digestion of a strong emotion before it can come out in art.
"When I'm angry I can't focus and I can't slip into my characters, I'm too much in myself."

Excellent point!
When I'm angry or upset, I do find it helps me to write so that I can understand the issue and maybe put it aside. Whether or not it will turn into good art depends on whether that's the only nugget of the story. There needs to be more than just anger.
Yeah, pure venting doesn't make for a good story. There still must be a point.
I guess I might be motivated that way sometimes - I've ended up with a couple really interesting anger-based poems, I think.
One of the better uses to which anger can be put!
Since I've already posted rants here, I have to 'fess up that sometimes I let my anger out here on LJ. In a book? That's not wise -- or, in my vernacular, Are you nutts?

Revenge did work for me once, though. I was deposed by an attorney. The court reported reeked of alcohol. When I went in to read the transcript, I was shocked and horrified by all the errors. I thought to myself, I don't drink; I can pay attention. I could do a better job. Twenty years later that's just what I was doing.
LOL!
Does annoyance count? I've had a few people in my life that annoyed the crap out of me, but usually for no good reason. So, since I couldn't lambast them for no good reason, I started finding ways to work them into stories or comics to vent my vexation.
The only time I've ever come close to working in actual revenge was a twist in my comic where I added a ninja to go after child abusers. Which...makes absolutely no sense taken out of context, but trust me in the comic it works.
Message to the world: Don't annoy a writer. We have ninjas!
I just like to make people laugh, or cry, or get upset about what's happening to my characters :)
Or ideally, all three! (Not necessarily simultaneously.)
Now that would be a neat trick :)
If I do, then it's subconsciously. Like the way themes creep into my work. The epiphany comes at the end of the first or second draft.
Subconscious revenge is an interesting idea.