Jon Michael Galindo

~ writing, programming, art ~

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29 August 2015

Storylines: Redemption

Have you ever seen “Despicable Me”? It’s one of my favorites, and it’s a redemption storyline through and through.

Redemption stories begin with a powerful villain. Of course, power comes in many forms; this villain may not possess extravagant strength or courage, although more often then not, he will. Gru and Darth Vader hardly compare, but they both hold significant power in their own worlds.

The key to crafting a redemption story is sacrifice; it portrays love as inherently sacrificial. The redemption gained will correlate to the sacrifice involved; so, Gru sacrifices the heist which was his life’s ambition, but gains the love of his three adopted daughters. Darth Vader sacrifices his life, saving his son’s life and the galaxy, and, having found immortality, he regains the friendships that Anakin Skywalker once lost. In this way, redemption reveals the sacrifice of love to be illusory: when the character has given up their most prized treasure for love’s sake, they are found to have lost nothing at all, but gained something precious beyond compare.

Redemption is very likely the most beautiful storyline possible. If the best stories are universal, then it is not unreasonable to believe that redemption plays out to such moving effect because it appeals to the villain in every reader. “Come,” it invites, “spend your all. You will lose nothing but dross to gain life itself.”

© Jon Michael Galindo 2015