Monday, August 23, 2010
Heart of a Hunter
The thrill of the hunt is a sure way of boosting adrenaline. It could be something as safe as shopping for a particular item online, or hunting game for the purpose of sport. The more at risk during the hunt, the more powerful is the onslaught of emotions coursing through the hunter’s veins.
The tendency to use the point of view of the victim when writing horror may provide a sympathetic perspective for the reader. Perhaps we’ve all done things in our past against permission: things like take an extra cookie from a jar or visit a forbidden location without our parent’s consent. Maybe we’ve tried smoking or drinking alcohol behind their backs. Couples may have cheated on each other. While perpetuating risks, the possibility of getting caught can bring about physiological changes in our bodies. So the tendency to write what we know and gain our readers’ sympathy is enticing, even personal.
Of course, I prefer to delve into the mind of the hunter. What does it take to kill for a seemingly legitimate reason? Perhaps your character is a hunter forced to bring food back to his family, or risk one or all of the family members perishing to malnourishment. The very essence of survival is what vampire creatures are about. However, we’d expect the modern vampire to be less predatory. There should be modern blood donors, and a vast network originating from slaughter houses. The blood of animals raised for food has to go somewhere.
Over the years there have been many concepts involving hunters where they do their best to control potentially destructive emotions. A successful hunter must remain driven to succeed and can’t afford to sympathize with its prey. In essence, the hunter should be ruthless.
A good horror story should have realistic elements, but should also include the element of surprise. Twists breathe life into a story. There’s something special about taking stereotypical characters and forcing them out of their comfort zone.
Horror allows the writer to add supernatural elements to interact with typical characters thereby providing entertaining plot opportunities. So perhaps if we take an old adage where the hunter becomes the hunted and add a supernatural creature, we can provide some heart pounding action and bring a frightening experience to life through fiction.
Do you have the heart of a hunter?
See you on the dark side.