Disproportionate Retribution:

Total posts: [5]
I'm having trouble deciding exactly how to handle this trope in my work currently, because I have to straddle a very fine line of how the readers are to view my main character right now. Let me explain.

At this point in my story, the hero's girlfriend has been kidnapped. The villain appears on television and taunts the hero (the whole "Muahaha you will never catch me" thing), and does... something. This something is supposed to enrage the hero enough that he runs in and breaks the guy in two in a special way.

Trouble is, I don't know exactly what that "something" that enrages the protagonist is. As I said before, I have to have the villain do something that would make the protagonist come after him, but not something that would justify what the protagonist does to him. I have be very careful here, because I want to have the reader to think "Gee, this guy's kind of a dick" but not "Well you're irredeemable."

To give some perspective on this, let me talk a bit about this villain. The villain here is essentially a shut-in who is concocting his schemes from inside his room. He manipulates events by having his one henchman go do everything for him while he plans in his lair. However, he isn't really that bad of a guy. It turns out later in the story that he's actually kind of a nice guy if you get to know him. He wouldn't do anything horrible, and he only has access to tools you could get from any hardware store, mostly relying on his henchman.

So, does anybody have any ideas on what I could do here to justify my main character going after him, but not justifying the whole Mind Rape thing? My intended perception of the character is Jerk Ass at this point.

edited 28th Nov '11 10:56:06 AM by Kazegen

My teacher's a panda
It might help if the hero and the villain have some sort of previous relationship. Perhaps the hero is holding some sort of grudge against the villain for something personal he's done a long time ago and the hero has a lot of vent up anger against him. Perhaps this last encounter was just the final straw that pushes the hero towards the Mind Rape, or at the very least a justification for doing what he's been wanting to do all along. You don't even have to explain what the villain did in the hero's past to enrage him so, but you could explain that it wasn't the villain's fault. Perhaps the villain just beat the hero to a promotion he really wanted, or maybe he just doesn't like his accent.
Cmdr. of His Supremacy's Armed Forces
Maybe you could use I Showed Her What A Real Man Is?

And if you REALLY want to rub salt in an infected wound, have him do it ON LIVE TELEVISION.

edited 4th Dec '11 7:15:58 AM by Steventheman

4 RalphCrown4th Dec 2011 08:22:20 PM from Next Door to Nowhere
Short Hair
If you develop the character far enough, you will know what pushes his buttons. Similarly, once you decide what pushes that big red button, you'll know something important about your character.

Suppose the girlfriend is a violinist. The villain breaks her finger. No big deal, he thinks, but he's ruined her life.
Under World. It rocks!
5 NoirGrimoir4th Dec 2011 11:35:10 PM from San Diego, CA , Relationship Status: Anime is my true love
Rabid Fujoshi
You could have him give a threat, rather than actually doing anything to the girlfriend. So when the boyfriend wails on him it's for something he never actually did and may or may not have ever intended on actually doing.
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Total posts: 5