Literary Perspective - Characters of the Mind

Supenatural Fiction (Chapman and Hall)
Credit: Chapman and Hall
(Wikimedia Commons)

Characters of the Mind

Aliens, ghosts, and monsters make a regular appearance in science fiction and horror stories. Interest will not wane as otherworldly entities manifest themselves. What makes creators of paranormal plots successful?

Their secret lies in the ability to frighten and enlighten. Excursions into unknown recesses of the brain form the basis for intelligent literature in all periods. Excitement the adult experiences when watching a horror movie may not be suitable for children, but ironically, subject matter that educated censors consider inappropriate in a cinema may be praised in an English classroom.

At the end of a film, the viewer realizes the tale was mere entertainment and shrugs off uncomfortable and unfamiliar concepts, yet at the end of a literature course, the student walks away with changed beliefs about this world and other realms that may exist, even if this controversial place is only a figment of the imagination. Characters of the mind reside within this elusive psychological setting, symbols of repressed emotions and buried needs.

This rift between drama and literature has been present for centuries. In the early days of stage performances, the church frowned on deviant attitudes presented in plays before the masses. The condemnation resulted in suppression of creativity, a futile shot at thought control. Ingenious writers found allegorical and euphemistic ways around state and clerical restrictions.

In contemporary society, authors exercise freedom of expression, even if the process of conception scares someone. A hidden message emerges from every unexpected, illusory visitor. Attempts at smothering feelings such as fear, and refusing to acknowledge forbidden desire, lead to a stronger manifestation of the emerging character.

The protagonist struggles with an unrecognized problem, wish, or belief. A supernatural being wins the battle and makes an appearance. An astute writer demonstrates ability to reach the heart of the disturbance.

ForeWord Review - Smoke Dreams

Smoke Dreams (Cover)

A haunted mansion with an intelligent personality propels this eerie tale set in New Mexico. Willerton teeters on the brink of historical and horror fiction, creating an eye-opening escapade for the uninitiated. The Comanche kidnapping of a ten-year-old boy in 1870 is the catalyst for this terrifying yet strangely poignant story of a family’s undying zest for living.

ForeWord Review - Flight of the Tarantula Hawk

Flight of the Tarantula Hawk (Cover)

This psychological thriller delves into the psychotic motivations of a murderous predator stalking unsuspecting human prey with a paralyzing drug. Inspired by the grotesque feeding ritual of the tarantula hawk, this inventive tale juxtaposes supernatural interludes with grisly crime scenes. For thick-skinned, desensitized horror fans seeking a creative spin in a genre that invites the most unthinkable nightmares, Scott will surpass expectation.