The one trend in writing that I truly cannot grasp is the writer’s attempt at making the reader feel sympathetic towards the villain. Somehow we are supposed to excuse the villain’s behavior because he was only trying to feed his starving family or she was only trying to protect her loved one. This brings to light the peculiar notion that we are mere products of our society, with little to no influence over our own lives. It takes the power away from the individual and puts them at the whim of his or her environment, which, in my opinion, is shoddy storytelling. A villain is such because he or she chooses to be that way. They know that what they are doing is wrong but they choose to side with the choice that ultimately harms others, often for the villain’s gain. This is what makes the hero such a fascinating character. The hero knows the power that evil has to offer but he or she resists by choosing the hero path. It all comes down to choice, but writers will tell you that the traditional good versus evil story is boring if you write it that way. I say it’s unfaithful to human nature to take away your character’s ability to choose good or evil because who are we if not the choices we make?