Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Intelligent Supernatural Evil
Writing horror is not for the Godly. A well-crafted horror story, at its core, proposes that Intelligent Supernatural Evil (you can call it the Devil) is present and active all around us while Intelligent Supernatural Good (you can call it God) is either unable or unwilling to do anything about it, or may even be inexistent. That means the job of fighting evil to save ourselves and the people we love falls upon us fragile mortal creatures because no one else will help us. We may use holy items us tools, sure, but their powers comes from within themselves or in our faith in them. If we, as horror writers, establish that Intelligent Supernatural Good is as present and as active as Intelligent Supernatural Evil, then our characters will never find themselves in horrible situations. A demon is after you character's soul? All he has to do is pray and the demon will go away, defeated by the superior might of God. There is no story in that. At least nothing worth anyone's time. But if that same demon is after your pious character's soul and God doesn’t help him however much he prays, that character will have to rely upon himself to defeat the demon and, in the process, may either lose his faith or strengthen it. Now, that’s a story. The Exorcist wasn’t about a priest who defeated a Biblical demon because he had faith and God helped him out. It’s about a priest who had lost his faith and so defeats a demon through his own wits.