A Discussion on Corruption Arcs

Today I’m doing another informal discussion. I highly recommend you check this out on my YouTube channel, as I believe the experience is better there. If you’d rather read it, this is a cleaned-up version of my closed captions.

There are spoilers for the Star Wars prequels and sequels.

Today I am talking about corruption arcs, and corruption arcs are something that I personally really love. I think there’s something fascinating about watching someone descend into darkness. I don’t think it should be romanticized because that’s not something we should do in real life, but I think it can be really fun to watch in fiction. I want to talk about it and how we don’t see it enough. We see redemption arcs all the time, but we don’t really see a lot of corruption arcs. The only story I’ve ever seen (that I can think of) that has a corruption arc is the Star Wars prequels, and then we have the opposite in the sequels where we have a redemption arc. I want to see more of it, so if you’ve ever read or watched anything with a corruption arc, please let me know in the comments because I’m really interested in checking that out.

I want to see more descents into darkness. I think with so many different stories, we see a protagonist and an antagonist, and usually the protagonist is female and the antagonist is male. (This is mostly for YA, but I’ve also seen it in a lot of movies.) The protagonist is offered a chance to sit by the antagonist’s side and rule alongside them and watch the world burn, and they always say no. I know it’s for morality reasons. They should say no and save the world, but I think it would be really interesting to explore what would happen if they said yes and went on this corruption arc and joined the antagonist and watched the world burn. It’d be really interesting to see what would motivate them to do that and go down that path instead of being the hero. I could see potential for stories where the hero is getting so much pressure to save the world that they snap and go dark, and I could see that working too.

I think there’s so much we can explore with people having corruption arcs, and maybe they end up getting redeemed again in the end, but I think it’d be really fun to explore that because we don’t really see it. Again, I want to caution against romanticizing that kind of thing. Yes, I love it. I love darkness, but in real life I don’t want that. I just like it in my media, and so I think we need to be careful not to romanticize it. Typically when someone goes dark, they are doing things that are morally bad and can be really abusive and harmful to people, so that kind of behavior should not be romanticized. I do think it’s really interesting to see what would motivate a person to go down that path. I think we can still root for them, and they can do their thing especially if they end up turning back around and having a redemption arc at the end. I think it would be really interesting to see these corruption arcs and see why people descend into darkness and what they do about it and how people respond to it, and I think it could be really interesting.

I’m wondering how many of you out there like corruption arcs and want to see more corruption arcs because I really want to write some corruption arc stories at some point. I need to finish my series that I’m on right now, and then my next project is a duology, but after that I can try to get into some corruption arc things. I might do some short stories in the meantime, but for right now I really just wonder whether or not you want to see that kind of thing and whether it’s worth exploring in the future in terms of things that I write because I really want to do it. I think I could do it well where it’s not being romanticized, and it’s not super toxic like it has the potential to be. I want to try to handle it well and show what happens, which means I’ll probably have to do a little bit of research on psychology.

Psychology would be so helpful as a writer to understand motivations for people and why people are the way they are. I did not take psychology at all in college. I tried, and then the class ended up being all online, and I can’t do online classes because I get migraines from being on screens. My sister ended up taking the same class a semester later with the same professor, and the professor’s a little crazy, so I’m glad I got out of that class and did not end up taking it, but it means I have no psychology background. I’ll have to get some psychology background if I want to do this corruption arc thing, but I think it could be really interesting to see it. I just think it’d be really fun to do.

I’m wondering what your thoughts on corruption arcs are and whether that’s something you would like to see. Again, if you can recommend anything that has corruption arcs in it, please do so because I want to read more corruption arcs.

I think corruption arcs can be done in a way where it’s not at all bad. I could see where someone starts out believing certain things because they’ve been raised in a certain way, and then they realize those things are wrong. To the people they were raised by, they go on a corruption arc, and so it’s technically a corruption arc. Really it’s a redemption arc because they’re going from the moral low ground to the moral high ground, and so I think there’s a way to do that as well. I don’t think that’s quite as interesting because from our perspective it’s more of a redemption arc than a corruption arc, but I think there are ways to pull it off.

I think it’d just be really fun to watch that because I personally like watching the Star Wars prequels just because I like to see Anakin’s descent into darkness. I prefer watching the third episode because that’s where that change really takes place, and then for the same reason I don’t like watching Episode IX because I don’t like watching Kylo’s redemption arc. I don’t really like it. I like him more as the bad guy than the good guy, which again, I really try not to romanticize these kinds of things. Kylo should not be romanticized when he’s going around killing people and having his anger issues and stuff. That is damaging to romanticize, but I do really like seeing him as a villain. I think he makes a really compelling villain, and I don’t like losing that where he’s no longer a villain, but I also really like watching Anakin descend into darkness and the motivations behind that, and I think there’s potential to do it a lot better. That would be really cool to see.

Those are my thoughts on corruption arcs. I don’t really have notes or anything. I’m just kind of rambling, but I think it would be really cool to see more of that, and I want to add more of it to my writing. I have a thought of adding one to my Welcome to Kareena short story series, but it’s not going to show up until really late in the year because the particular planet I can associate the corruption arc with is the last planet that I talk about in that short story series, so it’ll be towards the end. I think I am going to put a corruption arc in there and just kind of play around with it and see what I think and see how my readers react to see whether or not that’s something that they want to see more of in the future. I think that could be really interesting, so let me know in the comments down below what your thoughts are on corruption arcs and if you have any recommendations for good corruption arc stories. I’m going to go ahead and wrap it up, so I don’t ramble a bunch and waste your time. I just wanted to share that I really like corruption arcs. I think they’re really fascinating. I think there’s potential for them to be more prominent in stories and really show us some interesting things.

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