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Old 11-10-2012, 04:12 AM   #1
AetherNyx
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Sadistic God?

Recently I decided to scrap and completely redo the story I started writing 10 years ago, and now I'm putting a lot of thought into character development, mainly the 'why does this person do what they do?' and it's working very well for MCs and the antagonist.

But I have a god who pops in a few times throughout the story. He is in a sense the embodiment of another god's negative emotions, but other than that he doesn't seem to have a motive...and I have to wonder, what reasons would a god have to be sadistic, and to enjoy murder? Not sure if 'well he's those dark emotions' is a legitimate reason. Thanks in advance ;D
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:26 AM   #2
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Are you brainstorming? Maybe this should be in the Sandbox.


Is there really any other reason for being sadistic? It's a person who enjoys giving harm to others. There really no benefit to them, other than satisfaction of their actions.

And if he's some accumulation of emotion, just have him BE sadistic. He simply does what he is forced to.
I wouldn't dedicate an entire story about him though.

I'm more or less wondering if he's just a ball of emotions that causes destruction, or if he has another mind behind the god's control that doesn't wish to do such actions.
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:48 AM   #3
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I'd read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin and the next two books in the series. Not just because they're awesome, but because it deals with a whole swath of gods with all sorts of motivations, some of whom can be very sadistic, as they mingle with mortals. Maybe it can help.
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:44 AM   #4
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I have a god who pops in a few times throughout the story. .... what reasons would a god have to be sadistic, and to enjoy murder?
The god probably has motivations that are so unrelated to our experience that we wouldn't understand them.

Think about the fly buzzing in your living room. To him - you are a god who pops in a few times throughout his life. Could the fly ever understand your evil, sadistic need to have a can of fly spray in the cupboard? Do you enjoy murder?

That's what it is from the fly's point of view.

What should the mortal's relationship with the god be any different to your relationship with the fly?

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Old 11-10-2012, 09:00 AM   #5
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His power grows in proportion to the amount of grief he causes - just a thought (not mine actually, I think I read it in one of Kresley Cole's books)
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:44 PM   #6
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Your sadistic God is the dark side or dark reflection of a benevolent god, is that right?

You could make the sadism arise from extreme or exaggerated forms of good things carried beyond their limits. So a vengeful streak arising from a perversion of divine Justice, a smothering controlling sadism arising from exaggerated Compassion, a toying with people's minds arising from an Oracular god etc.

What kind of god is this the dark side of?
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:34 PM   #7
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Resentment and spite could be another reason. 'You get to be the nice guy, with all the fame and all the glory - all you left for me is ashes and hatred, and you wonder why I turned out like this?'.
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:06 PM   #8
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and I have to wonder, what reasons would a god have to be sadistic, and to enjoy murder?
Provided he's leaving witnesses, there's alway the Saw/Jigsaw take on things aka "Most people are so ungrateful to be alive."

Might see his/her actions as a form of moral lesson.

If you've never known sorrow -- how can you know joy? And so on.

just my .02$
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:57 PM   #9
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Thanks so much for the replies, you guys are all amazing Definitely got some good points to start with.

And Richard, yes the other is a benevolent God. Love all the ideas~
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:15 AM   #10
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Well, depending on your theological viewpoint, gods don't always have reasons for being the way they are ... or if they have them, they don't feel like telling us. Look at the Book of Job. Or look at Loki in the old Norse religion. Did he have a reason for being so annoying?

Many religions tell their followers that it's folly to judge a god by human standards and heresy to question their will (as filtered through the god's human agents in real life, of course, but in a story, the god can be a character).

In my world, the gods have dual natures and embody aspects of creation and destruction, just as life embodies aspects of creation and destruction (rather then their being distinctly "good" or "evil" gods), but different religions interpret them differently.

But that's my world, and the gods haven't interacted directly with my characters (yet at least). It may not be a problem, depending on how you portray your god.

Though some readers may want to know why, I suppose. But as a writer, you don't necessarily have to answer every question your readers may have.
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