A to Z Challenge -R

A2Z R is for redemption. From Merriam Webster: n. (14c) the act, process, or an instance of redeeming.

Tales of redemption. They are found in every genre out there. Why are they so popular in romance? Most people have made a mistake in their lives for which they seek forgiveness.

Remember that lost love? The only person you ever truly loved? The one who made you feel whole? The one you cheated on because you were young and easily swayed? Or maybe the one you never told you were married? Or one of a million other reasons?

We seek redemption for our actions. It’s a rare person who does not. Either they know they messed up so completely that they can never repair the damage or they feel it beneath them to apologize and make reparations.

Both of those instances cause tension in lives, are real, and if the writer has done a good job, the reader wants to see that character redeemed. Most people deserve at least one second chance. And sometimes the way a person seeks redemption is to move on from everyone in their lives in order to start anew. How is that redemption, you ask? They are seeking forgiveness from themselves for past transgressions, giving themselves permission to move on.

Sometimes the person we seek redemption from is ourselves. All of this can be found in the romance genre.

Do you find it difficult to redeem someone who has transgressed. Have you forgiven yourself?


Related post: Absolution


12 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge -R

  1. Loved this post. Speaks true in so many different facets, so many different relationships and situations. In my writer’s group last week, we actually discussed this as it pertains to a character I’ve been developing. I typically create the plot and setting first and then introduce characters into that, so developing a character and then creating a storyline around them is way out of my norm. This character is horrible. A truly terrible human being who is loosely based off of two former friends of mine who are eerily similar in their terribleness (easy to mesh into one character). Anywhoo, I wrote out a scene, a short chapter, and one of my writing colleagues immediately asked “So…. what is her redeeming quality?” I initially had to struggle to think of one. That got me to thinking, is it ALWAYS necessary for a character to redeem themselves? Does it depend on the genre, on the book and storyline? Or can there be truly awful people (fictional or otherwise) who don’t get/deserve a happy ending?

    1. I think there can be, but if they are in a romance, then it would be difficult for readers to connect with them as the main couple. I mean, why couldn’t there be? Those people exist in real life too. That’s one thing I’ve disliked about the “rules” of writing. I don’t think all characters have to be redeemable. Sometimes that evil nature is the catalyst for whatever the other characters do. There’s the school of thought of making your character do the opposite of what they would normally do to create tension and interest. I don’t know if this should always be the case. Maybe they’re there just to make the main characters see the error of their ways. I say, go with your gut on this character.

      1. Oh very true, romance was certainly one of the genre’s I was referring to. This character could easily be the primary in a psychological thriller or something equally twisty. I’m trying to find the positive side of the individual the character is based on… Annnnnd I’m struggling.

        1. Is she the story’s main focus? If it’s a romance, and she is, then you have to find something to push her past this. Was she abused, abandoned, etc in her past? Is she so evil because that’s what she was taught? If so, what’s the ONE thing she wants so much that she has to change in order to achieve it? Now you’ve got me curious!

          1. Do you have an email? I’d love to give you some background info on her, I’d be writing a LOT here and don’t want to muck up your page!! 🙂 I wish WordPress had a messaging system….

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