The Psychic Realm: Good (sort of) vs Evil

A great comment came in last week–that the lead characters in Inception were merely a band of thugs raping people’s minds to get what they wanted. The commenter poses an interesting question:  Is doing something wrong ever right, because you believe it’s the only viable choice? 

inception top

It’s the EXACT moral (psychic) delima that was the original idea for my Legacy series.I wanted realistic lead characters facing complex delimas for which there are no easy resloution. Because even good people make bad choices sometimes. I’m not sure Inception’s creators were going for the same thing, but there are parallels, nonetheless. 

I’ve started a conversatin about this very thing, BTW, over on Kindle Boards, so stop by and chat a bit out there, too.

What’s your take?Not just about either Inception or the Legacy books–though they offer a great framework for the topic. What are you looking for in a book that explores the epic dynamic of good vs. evil, only the good guys are not all that good and the bad guys are doing what they’re doing for causes they find just (they’re true believers).

In the Psychic Realm, Dark Legacy and Secret Legacy’s world, there are no hard and fast heroes: not even the protagonists of each book, Maddie and Sarah Temple. 

Maddie’s a doctor. Her calling is to save people the way she couldn’t her family, except she spends the length of the book resisting the “evil” Legacy (the calling) that will psychically enable her to save her psychotic sister, her mother, and the world at large from the scientists manipulating her mind and powers.

Sarah Temple, once she’s free of the Center of scientists experimenting on her, is torn between saving a lost child no one else believes the Center has moved on to, and saving the Psychic Realm and the world itself from the child’s deadly powers. For both sisters, no matter what they choose, they’re risking someone being hurt. Someone will see their actions as wrong. They’ll be someone’s villain, regardless.

I love crafting ”anti-hero” situations because they reveal true character, motivation and flaws as we watch the characters chose and act. But these types of stories don’t always satisfy the reader looking for a black and white world.

I could go on and on about the “patriotic” Center scientists who think the psychic “raping” they’re experimenting with is essential to maintain the balance of world power. Or the Brotherhood of Watchers observing all this and only intervening when they perceive that a Legacy is becoming a threat to the Psychic Realm. Neither are innocent of the damage done in both Dark Legacy and Secret Legacy. Neither think they’re in the wrong.

But I want to more about what you think!

What blows your mind (in both good ways and bad)?

 inception architecture

I’m pushing the envelope even more in the new Legacy proposals I’m writing. I’d love to hear what you crave, what you can’t stand, where your limits are, and whether or not you can fall for and identify with an anti-hero making tough choices for good reasons and with conviction, even though his/her actions aren’t traditionally heroic.

What are your fiction “must haves” when an author poses these types of moral dilemmas?

Tags: , , , , , , ,

3 Responses to “The Psychic Realm: Good (sort of) vs Evil”

  1. M.E. Anders says:

    Thought-provoking post. Yes – I CAN fall for an anti-hero making tough choices…I see the humanity in all characters, no matter how foul. I always ask myself, “I wonder what happened in his/her past to elicit such a reaction.”

  2. Jarrett Rush says:

    I love the anti-hero. It’s what I seem to write the easiest. I think of the anti-hero as the every man. There’s no one that’s all good and all bad. I read somewhere that even the worst villain has to believe in something, even if it’s something that no one else can understand. They have a reason and a belief that motivates whatever horrible, evil thing they are doing. They see their acts as necessary to accomplish whatever it is that they are doing. It’s the thing that makes them human. If they are just doing evil things because they are evil things then they become a cartoon.

    I know that doesn’t exactly go with what you asked, but it’s what came to mind when I read the post. A good one, by the way.

  3. Mary Preston says:

    I enjoy exploring the dark side in characters good & evil. I also love that glimpse of humanity in truly evil characters. It’s a matter of what??

Leave a Reply