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Why is Writing Evil So Much Fun?

  • August 04, 2019
  • Blog

evil photo

I’m editing a friend’s novella in the horror genre and what strikes me most is the passiveness of good. (I haven’t finished it yet so that might change but overall, in horror stories, evil has the most gleeful power.)

I noticed it in my own novel as well. The demons are smooth talkers in a cesspool, but the angels seemed a bit remote and sanctimonious. Why do we like reading Dante’s Inferno but snooze through the Paradiso?

For one thing, writing good is a lot harder. When I write evil, it’s like running around in a playground with no rules. It’s absolute power, where the only limits are what the mind conceives. Can I say the same about writing goodness?

Think of the words we use with good. “Goody two shoes” comes to mind. But bad? Bad to the bone. Which would you choose? (In writing, folks. Writing only. Stay on the good side of the fence for actual living.)

Since I write urban fantasy, I want the struggle to be there but I want good to win. That doesn’t mean I can’t have fun along the way. That’s part of the roller coaster ride of terror and screams with smiles.

There’s a poem by A. E. Stallings taped to my fridge that sums it up perfectly and you can read it here.

  • Marie MacBryde • August 5, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    I like this blog very much. And what a suitable poem to accompany it!

  • J. M. Levinton • August 10, 2019 at 1:00 am

    Thank you!

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