>>353285>Is this genius or retarded?
It's impossible to say one way or the other without more information. How much is a "shitton?" If you're talking two, maybe three normal-sized paragraphs of whittled-down story-relevant information it's probably fine; if you're using this as an excuse to dump the character's entire biography on the reader at once it's probably not a good idea.>>353298
Again, without knowing the details of what you're doing specifically I can't say yea or nay on whether it's good, but a couple of things jump out at me here:>I only get one chance to show a normal day or two in the protag's life before shit hits the fan and he can't go back to his normal life.
Why exactly are you limited by this time frame? If the story is focused on specific events happening in the present and you don't have time for a long preamble, then you probably need to think long and hard about how important this backstory info really is.>So I want to include everything now but that's probably a bad idea.
If this is what your gut instinct is telling you, it's probably worth listening to, or at least analyzing to see why it is your instinct is pulling you in this direction.
Again, since I don't know exactly what you have in mind I can't really say whether your idea is good or not, but here's what my
gut instinct is telling me, based on past experience reading your work. My suspicion is that this is probably another "Silver Star's Magic Skateboard" moment, where you have a massive amount of detailed information that you feel needs to be conveyed to the reader, but probably a lot of what you consider essential isn't really all that essential. Offhand, I'm guessing a lot of it is stuff that could probably be pared down or even omitted. However, if all of it is actually essential, then you may have problems with how you're structuring the story. If the reader needs more information about the MC's backstory for the story to make sense or for the character to be sympathetic, you may want to reconsider this hyper-condensed "three days until SHTF" timeline you've set up. Can you start the story any earlier, or slow down the pacing to give the reader more time to learn about the MC's past? If so, then maybe you should consider just doing that. If you can't, then you'll probably have to trim the MC's backstory down to just the essentials and make peace with killing a few of your babies. You can either drop some ballast and make the ship go faster, or you can hold on to everything and prepare for a longer and slower voyage, but usually you can't have both.>>353344>My story's too black and white right now, a proof reader said to me. Too much "My race and my ways good, their race and their ways bad".
If you want to avoid being too black and white, the thing to do is to try and understand your villains from their own perspective, rather than from yours or from your hero's. What do your villains believe in, if anything? What motivates them? Why are they doing whatever it is they're doing? You don't have to justify it or make them sympathetic; you can still present them as evildoers. The thing is, though, nobody wakes up in the morning and says "today I'm going to be a dick to this one guy, because I'm evil and mwahahahaha." Anyone who does anything has a reason for doing it. It doesn't have to be a good reason or a just reason, it just has to make sense from the perspective of that character, taking into account his motivations and his personality.>Obviously the enemy is evil, there's nothing redeemable about rapist orcs or goblin swindlers, that's as factual as the existence of space.
This right here is exactly how you shouldn't
be thinking about this. Forget about good and evil for a moment, and imagine yourself in the position of one of these orcs or goblins. Who are these creatures? What motivates them to do what they do? Even if they're just dumb, simple, mean-spirited creatures motivated by base impulses, they aren't wind-up toys; they have at least some level of autonomy, and thus their acts of rape and swindling are conscious acts they carried out of their own freewill. If not, then your villains are basically just wild animals, and unless you're writing a survival story about humans facing giant sharks or killer lions, wild animals don't make for especially interesting adversaries.
In the case of your goblins and orcs, their motivations are probably selfish and petty: rape is an act of control driven by a combination of base lust and a desire to dominate and humiliate an enemy. Either you're directly dominating and humiliating the object of your hatred by raping it, or you're dominating and humiliating them by proxy, ie by raping your enemy's wife or daughter. Swindling is similar: it can be motivated by something as simple as callous greed ("I want to make a profit and I don't care about how it harms this person") or, again, as a means of domination or humiliation by proxy ("I hate those tricksy hobbitses, so I'm going to run a scam on them and cheat them out of their hard-earned shekels").
If you want compelling, interesting "bad guy" characters, it's better to have them motivated by something more compelling and interesting than simple, base impulses like "I'm horny and I won't take no for an answer" or "I need beer money and this retard looks like he'd fall for this dumb scam I cooked up." So, it's probably better to go with the desire to dominate and humiliate an enemy as motivation. In this case, you need to think about the source of these feelings of enmity. Why
do your orcs and goblins hate your hero, or your hero's race? There's always a reason; maybe it involves misconstruing some perceived injury to justify whatever it is their baser impulses want to do anyway. "My ancestors were slaves 200 years ago, so I have every right to set this complete stranger's car on fire, steal his TV and rape his wife in front of him." That sort of thing.