What Our Monsters Might Tell Us

There are monsters around this time of year.

Creatures of folklore and horror fiction.

All of them presumably had creators at some point -people  who had to puzzle and make creative decisions about their monstrous imaginary progeny.

Which made me ask a few rhetorical questions to myself, starting with this one – what kind of monster would you make, if you were writing a story?

What everyday fears would it exploit in your readers?

Would you start by calculating what would scare you the most?

Did something make them a monster? A tragedy, a mistake – or were they just born bad?

Would it be male or female? Why?

Living, dead or undead?

What horrible things would the monster do to its victims?

Would they be guilt-ridden after a bad deed  – or so implacably evil they don’t care?

How does this monster kill people – maybe in the way you would be most afraid to be murdered?

Or are they human, a villain with monstrous qualities – maybe based on a person in your life who you don’t like – a bully from your childhood perhaps.

And would this villain have the surname of a teacher you didn’t like at school – or maybe an annoying work colleague?

Does this person live in a near-derelict house on the outskirts of town?  Or a white picket-fenced house in the leafy suburbs?

I’ll stop now – but you get the drift – the monsters we create in our own imagination tell us a lot about ourselves.

An audio version of this blog is available here:

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