To Write An Epic: Demon Dark
Not For The Easily Offended
Before you read, first check out To Write An Epic: “The Story”. Furthermore you will need to have an open mind while reading this post. The following story framework is a work of fiction. It reflects my opinions, ideas and questions about Christianity. If you are easily offended, then do not read this post; otherwise I’m glad you’re still with me on this dark journey…
“This is where it gets dark… Demon Dark.”
As I shared “the story’s” premise, I uttered the phrase that would name it, Demon Dark. As the name implies, Demon Dark began as a horror story that evolved into a supernatural thriller with superhuman heroes and villains.
It followed a multi-racial, twenty something male seeing a court-ordered psychologist to deal with schizophrenic episodes onset from early traumatic experiences. Since childhood, he was convinced that he possessed a magic relic that was responsible for his father’s death and being hunted by supernatural forces. Following a tragedy, the main character questions his reality and suppresses his memories.
Years later rising eerie occurrences lure him back into a world of supernatural conflict. A startling revelation proves the demons who once hunted the relic are real and intend to do far worse.
A Dark Tragedy To Span Generations
Each time I began writing Demon Dark I pushed the timeline further back. What started in his twenties became his teens, then later – his childhood. The story needed particular challenges at different points in the character’s life to enable an understanding for his difficult choices.
Through his experiences at key moments of development, the audience would grow with him and adopt some values made evident through his journey.
His life would mirror a three-act story structure.
The three developmental periods, childhood, adolescence and adulthood, would feature three-act episodic challenges. Each would deal with different levels of threat, trauma, and transformation. Moreover, each would expose bits of the hidden world that exists within the character’s reality. Consequently leading to thought provoking questions about God, about the human condition, and about perspectives and values.
A recipe for an epic that would span generations.
All A Matter Of Perspective
A key component to Demon Dark, if not all stories, is perspective. As a quiet observer, I’ve watched how revelations can alter one’s judgement and perception. For example, I could tell you how the story will end right now and you may lose all interest in it because it’s an apocalyptic story that’s been tried and done.
But… if I offer you my perspective of why, then you might be more curious to know about the hero’s journey.
What if I told you that we are suffering today because of a sinister conspiracy millions of years in the making by a faction of supernatural dissenters, and that the hero of Demon Dark was on a mission to save all of creation from this corrupted system?
But for the hero to win… (pause for dramatic effect)
My Hero, The Anti-Hero
I thought this perspective was such an amazing idea. The beginning hero ends up the villain. The audience would cheer for him grappling to survive and reach a goal that by the end they’d realize was ending the world. Would they still cheer, or would they reject such a twist?
The drama, the betrayal – all of it necessary to open eyes and minds to one possible truth.
In fact, almost ironically we’re watching this very narrative play out as some American republicans use rhetoric that mirrors Adolf Hitler – turning minority cultural groups into targets of hate to radicalize the weak minded and the angry, all the while seemingly heroic to the audience that doesn’t see it coming. Perspective changes everything, and so perhaps it is everything.
At the time that Demon Dark was forming as a concept, it was uncommon to have a multi-racial, sexually questionable, anti-hero main character that dealt with mental health issues that turned out being actual supernatural interactions.
Whereas today, series and films like, Lucifer, Supernatural, Charmed, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Maleficent, Cruela, embrace, humanize and even romanticize once villainous characters; while series and films like The Boys, Invincible and even Marvel’s Civil War explore the heroes path to villainy. Even cartoons like Danny Phantom, Elliot Kid and Victor and Valentino provided multi-cultural, supernatural narratives for kids.
We, the world, were shown that heroes and villains existed within each of us. Judgement of our actions was typically only over a fragment of our lives. That fragment, despite judgement, is not a self-defining moment, but rather our journey defines our greater whole. The journey mattered.
In concept, Demon Dark was an idea ahead of its time, but it was already late to the game for production.
Conflict-Resolution; Nothing New
The journey that each human being is on encounters conflict and, hopefully, resolution. Through the journey, we adapt and improve, or conversely we do nothing and decay. I think that the journey matters to us because it matters to God. Although we’re told it matters because God wants us to be as we were before we devoured the fruit of knowledge; I think it’s more complicated than that.
Each generation of humans introduces new variables to test and resolve the same reoccurring conflicts from different perspectives. In fact, those conflicts are so common that we recognized them and used them as themes in storytelling (Story Structure Architect by Victoria Schmidt, Ph.D., pg. 7):
We invented storytelling to impart wisdom of conflict-resolutions and prevent resolution-regression in hopes that future generations don’t repeat mistakes and make better choices that benefit themselves and all mankind.
By This We All Are Changed
We’re told that God wants us to be devoted, obedient servants that choose Him over everything else. Meanwhile, we’re given the ultimatum that if we don’t choose Him with the conditions He laid forth, then we choose torture in Hell for eternity.
That was Old Testament – God. In the New Testament, He changed His mind and decided we could still save ourselves by accepting His son in our hearts as an extension of Himself on Earth. Thus our choice of accepting a vengeful, jealous God and His conditions for love with a caveat of His blessings, or hell, was transmuted into a choice of accepting His forgiving, patient son and His son’s unconditional love with a caveat of eternal life, or true death.
Speculating as a human observer, perhaps back then the journey proved that tough love wasn’t as effective as unconditional love for winning over the majority of mankind, so God had a second major self-adjustment.
As we individually suffer trauma and loss to achieve growth through the journey, we parse the parts of ourselves that are in conflict with our greater whole – our new self identities are the resolution to the prior conflict we faced. Those parsed parts are subjectively good or bad, pending a perspective that’s as complicated as we are; being reliant on our own experiences, belief structures, and perceptual conditions.
In essence, God had to learn how to love Himself which was represented by the majority of us that God wanted to preserve within Creation or the greater whole. The journey we undergo separates out personality components and behaviors that are in, or out of alignment with our greater whole and hopefully the greater good, or that which to some extent are the parts of Himself that He wishes to keep, or purge.
All The World Is A Stage
I know that’s heavy. I can barely wrap my own head around it sometimes, but its like this.
Each being in Creation is a character in God’s mind playing a role in a fantastic cosmic play. God wants to walk away from the show feeling warm and fuzzy inside. He enjoys watching character development in each actor, but some actors go somewhere dark and stay there. If an actor diverts from the script for too long or performs actions that are too dark, they’re fired from the play. Meanwhile actors that exhibit some darkness, but eventually return to being lighthearted are encouraged to play new roles. Having returned to being lighthearted, the actor showed God how to overcome a particular set of conflicts while maintaining a role congruent with His greater whole; which He deems the greater good.
Pure Purifying Alchemy
In many ways it’s like the process of purification. We have a situation in which materials are bonded together, but we want to remove something of value from the rest of it; whether the light-hearted from the dark and heavy, the intellectual from the instinctual, or gold from mineral. It’s basically alchemy.
What, then, is the greater good? Arguably, it’s a resolution to a conflict that benefits the mental, physical, and spiritual health of the majority of living beings within Creation. Though in practice, much more difficult to discern, right?
Whatever the greater good is, it must be defined from that which it isn’t and this is pivotal to the story of Demon Dark. The traits that God has deemed desirable or vile exist bonded together within each of us, and can only be separated through conflict.
Given that we, and by extension God, are such complex emotional beings, how could He purify himself to the greatest extent possible?
Our Prime Directive
Multiple dimensions, a half million years, and one simple directive – “go forth and multiply” – would complete the journey to split intellect and instinct, or as I call them God and D’Oegi (D-O-G).
Through reproduction we created more living vessels to test conflicts. Human beings would undergo the process of parsing their own virtuous or vile feelings, then be judged and purged from Creation.
Sounds familiar? Like rooting out sin?
The life journey of humans, in Demon Dark, serves as the process to purify God, who has separated and divided Himself to the point of barely having consciousness within Creation.
So, humans keep multiplying and encountering conflicts with one another that feed an ongoing cosmic psychological experience of a being that is both present and absent simultaneously.
When, then, does this process end; how then does God decide He is satisfied with what remains; what happens to the purged?
So many questions lead to more questions, so follow me for answers in the next blog, To Write An Epic: Original Sin.
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