Thursday, September 29, 2011

Excuses, excuses.

Several times now, I've been accused of "cheating" on the ending of my stories.
PigMan is a good example... That I didn't develop the character of PigMan, tell why he is and what he's doing in the house... That I don't answer enough questions.

**Spoilers below**

I understand this opinion, but feel I need to give my own.
I KNOW what the PigMan is doing. I have plans for him, but as far as the short story, his presence should be a mystery. The fear was in the realization that the little girl's "nightmare" character was flesh and blood and standing at the bottom of the steps in their house, that the mother can't protect her. That the father can't protect her.
It doesn't matter what he is or why. It only matters that he is real and in the end, he means them the very harm the mother feels crawling up her spine whenever she hears the term.
I want readers to use their own imaginations to fill in the blanks. It makes the fear that much more personal. Showing too much of the monster kills the suspense.
I use this minimal approach in many of my stories. That's why they are short.

I'm not upset by these comments, don't get me wrong. I like to hear what other people think. It won't change my writing style. Plus I figured I'd at least let ya know there's a method to my madness. Like it or lump it.

If I said PigMan was a tens-of-thousands of years old demon who preyed on the weak (in this case, a human group who was missing their "alpha"). That he sensed the father was gone... that he watched out the window for signs from Luna, the moon herself, so that he would know when the time was right to strike. That he prolonged his miserable existence by eating his victims. That he was perhaps the oldest and nastiest of all demonic beings.
Would it make it any scarier? Or is knowing he is there, and wondering what he is...enough? Maybe your living room window, or your apartment window, or any window with a clear view of the moon as it waxes and wanes could be next.

1 comment:

  1. When reading Jason Zinoman's book Shock Value a lot of the great horror director's from the 70's usually did not explain too much on the background of their creature or murderer because that's what brings the mystery and scares. We as readers and viewers are left wondering why are these things happening. But studios and higher ups changed that and wanted a whole back story. In Halloween if it wasn't for the TV cut of the film no one would know that Laurie Strode was Michael Myers sister. Sometimes the thought of a creature or killer just doing horrible things without reason brings a sense of fear and dread because it could happen anywhere maybe even to us and that is the Scary Part.