Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#8) -- Dark Stories

I know you're a Christian, so do you ever feel any trepidation working on stories 
with dark gods, cults, magic and other satanic or darker elements? As Maude 
would say, do you think "God will get you for that!"? -- Jen Contino

Not really. As a person of faith, I tend to err more to the side of not compartmentalizing my life into artificial boxes of sacred and profane, or the spiritual vs. the secular. Because of that, I can look at just about anything as a faith story in some way or another. I don't see Blackthorn, Rick Ruby, Lance Star, zombie tales, Gene Simmons Dominatrix or Fishnet Angel as any different. I'm just trying to tell a fun yarn and not write a sermon. Certain elements of my worldview will slip in because I can't stop being who I am, but I'm certainly not of the camp that tries to turn everything into a tool of religious propaganda either. I figure if the Bible is a liberal enough book to contain stories of violence, revenge, supernatural battles, rape, child killing, incest and romantic erotic stories, then I figure any of the topics must not be off limits to me as a writer either.

I'm still old school enough to believe that good conquers evil, but I'm also postmodern enough to believe that sometimes good and evil are really, really difficult to measure and quantify and it's often hard to tell one from the other. Besides, if good has to get dragged through the supernatural muck for a while before it eventually wins, that just makes the victory all the sweeter, right?

Seriously though, you're not going to find me writing things that go against my worldview. For example, I couldn't really write a typical slasher film and feel honest as a writer because I believe there's more to life than mere survival. But I have no qualms at all writing a violent horror or slinky action story that shows a genuine conflict between good and evil, or a story that honors the sacrifice of brave people who either succeed or fail in destroying a great evil. I'm not afraid of writing darkness. Bring it on.