The beauty of justifications

Today I was thinking about the motivations of a new background character I’m introducing in my novel revision. (A mysterious alien called the Anoch Overseer – since he’s never going to be on-screen, he needs to have a cool name!)

Anyway, I was wondering whether the idea I have for what’s motivating his actions fits the OS Problem of Help. He’s heading to Earth ahead of schedule so that he can help with the invasion, but underlying that help is that he wants to be seen helping, so that he can claim a part of the victory etc. And I wasn’t sure if it was veering a bit into Perception territory or something. But then I realized how well it fits a justification:

One needs to help secure victory in order to be known as a brave commander

I think that works! The cool thing, when you look at this from other characters’ perspective it turns into the really meaty Help gists like giving help where it is not needed/wanted, etc. (The Overseer’s “helpful” early arrival creates problems for both the badguys and the goodguys.)


Seems to work to me.

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