Fear gives us a heightened state of awareness. When writing my trilogy “The Chosen One of Allivar” I kept this in my mind at all times. I recall telling ghost stories at a camp one summer and being frightened enough to not sleep. I recall watching the “Exorcist” alone, which is the dumbest thing I ever did. I recall the tension of the crew of the Nostromo in “Alien”, all desperately trying to find a way to survive. All the great epic stories have them – monsters and demons.
Monsters represent our physical world – the things we can touch and feel or, by their very appearance, give us alarm. Spiders and snakes are the most common monsters we have in this world. With snakes we have the story of the fall of paradise to keep us on guard by their presence from deadly venomous fangs or by a crushing embrace. Spiders appear alien to us with eight legs, pincers and stingers. We have only two arms so we are immediately in peril. Creatures of the deep scare us because they arise from the eerie depths of the water in the flash of an eye and pull us down to a dark crushing death. For that fear we can owe to stories such as “Jaws.” We can fight back and sometimes defeat monsters because they too are physical, they must experience death.
Demons represent our ethereal world – those invisible powers we cannot comprehend or defend against. They are immortal; they cannot be killed by the powers of man. To me, as an author, the invisible is the most frightening. In my story I have the Charamen, which by our world is our good conscience, guiding us to do the right thing. Once corrupted and forever damned, they become the Charagrung and become our dark conscience. We all understand this concept, right? You’ve seen commercials with a person who has a smaller image of himself on his shoulders, one tempting, the other protecting. These are concepts of the battle between good and evil. One side is working in the invisible realm to corrupt and destroy a world for vengeance’s sake. You are the pawn in a chess match that has played on for thousands of years without a declared winner.
In my trilogy, I use both monsters and demons to heighten the readers’ experience, to raise the body temperature, pulse, and adrenaline. To accomplish this I have to play into your fears and use all the tools that have proven successful in the past to provide enough detail so that you can visualize fear. I won’t lie; the trilogy was written with the hopes that it would become a cinematic epic and/or provide gamers with an exciting gaming experience. To achieve these hopes, I’ll let my monsters and demons keep you awake. Good night and checkmate!
What scares you?