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  1. Dr. Doctor
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    Dr. Doctor Contributing Member

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    A story involving the devil?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Dr. Doctor, Feb 2, 2009.

    Okay, so I'm working on a story involving the devil being trapped on Earth (by some extraordinary circumstance, which will be addressed). He is spoken to occasionally by God, not named, but inferred as a lax jokester who unwillingly has to watch over him because he cannot be trusted. The story goes through three small segments involving his trying to get people to make a deal with him, which will get him back to Hell.

    Now, I do not really know what I'm doing here, even moreso than usual. I've got a lot of ideas, but none of them are truly great, I figured this would make for a nice little intro for me, and I would like to see what you all could offer to possibly make my gears start turning. The story is going to be a satire of modern religious thinking, and how people are desensitized to evil and such. I just need a little focus.
     
  2. rory
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    rory Contributing Member

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    Desensitized to evil... hmm. Sounds like a cool concept. Not sure what you're really after as far as suggestions go, but that bit caught my attention and I thought what if the 'deals' the devil tries to make are an old fashioned kind of 'wicked', something not considered really all that terrible today. And the people he talks to are willing to do way worse things because they are desensitized, or have a warped sense (or no sense) of right and wrong. Turns out we're more wicked than the Devil himself.
    You could even go undercover and talk to real people about what kinds of supposedly evil tings they'd be willing or unwilling to do. Turn it into and expose on how the world is going the Hell, so why does Satan even bother trying to go home? He'll be there soon anyway. :p
     
  3. Spook
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    Spook Member

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    Have you read The Master and Margarita, by Bulgakov? It deals with similar (though not identical) issues, and may give you some ideas.
     
  4. Acglaphotis
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    Acglaphotis Contributing Member

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    Desentized to evil humans is such an old concept, it's been done to death, and it's applicable to any era humans have lived in. Do something with the character and concept, put something new in it, subvert whatever the audience it's going to be expecting. That is, people don't expect the Devil to go around killing people, because that's what they used to expect. People now expect the Devil to be an entity vastly more calculative and intelligent than his faustian counterpart. Portraying the Devil as a fallen hero, an angel out of grace it's also expected, not to mention possibly boring if done incorrectly.

    Check out "For Love of Evil" by Piers Anthony to see how the fallen angel perspective on the devil can be finely written.

    In early Judaism it seems that Satan was in God's court, and the one to whom the task of testing the faith of mortals was assigned — essentially, God's prosecuting attorney. When Christianity came by, they "remade" Satan, spawning a new "character" specific to Christian mythology: Lucifer, the rebellious angel cast out of heaven for trying to overthrow God. Now no longer an agent of God's will, Satan had become the embodiment of active opposition to Him, the Anti Thesis of God.

    Well, besides being God's antithesis, he was very dumb: the earliest medieval concepts of Satan usually portrayed him as a bumbling oaf, wandering the world trying to tempt the faithful, whom the lowest of common field hands could outwit if he kept his head about him.

    Only since the late 19th Century/Early 20th that Satan has been elevated by Fundamentalist Protestant Christians into a kind of Anti-God whose power is on a par with that of God. Almost as omnipotent and omnipresent as God, this version of Satan can be broadly impersonal or terrifyingly intimate, suiting him to Lovecraft-style horror where he can only be pushed away for a little while and never truly defeated, at least not until Armageddon itself. This version of Satan isn't very suited for protagonism, though. In the Inferno section of the Divine Comedy, he's this version, a mindless, three-headed monster constantly chewing on the arch-sinners Cassius, Brutus and Judas.

    More recently, though, the Devil is quite often a man of wealth and taste (any rolling stone fans here?), a suave, affable archetype of the vastly intelligent rich man, with lots of experience and a taste for the offerings of humanity's cultural achievements, from wine to music to poetry and stories.Examples: The Devil from Reaper; the archetype fits Crowley the demon in Good Omens, although he isn't the devil (he's the snake that appears in Genesis).

    Some people break the stereotype by giving him an unexpected soft spot that renders him a bit more "human" and less supernatural — he likes kids, or kittens, or snowcones. It doesn't make him any less dangerous (if he's dangerous at all); it just lets the audience think they understand him. Parry in "For Love Of Evil" also fits this one; he doesn't embody Evil, he manages it.

    OK, I have to stop procrastinating, I have to do schoolwork.
     
  5. Dr. Doctor
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    Dr. Doctor Contributing Member

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    Yeah, rory, I wrote a lot more of it today and that was generally the direction it was going in.

    Spook, no, but I will check it out if at all possible. Thanks.

    I am not trying to make the Devil sympathetic or hero-like, although without knowing, I have done what Piers Anthony did in For Love of Evil - he manages evil in a way. I wanted this story to be a more humorous one, just something fun and creative, not really a novel or anything. I might expand on it someday when I have infinitely more time on my hands. Thank you for the detailed post there, man, I will definitely look into the stuff you mentioned that I didn't know of.
     
  6. Acglaphotis
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    Acglaphotis Contributing Member

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    Glad I could help :).
     
  7. Hope
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    Hope Banned

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    As far as ideas go for me, the obvious turn out for the story would be that he either gets killed or goes back to hell where he came from.
    I'm not sure if this is what your looking for, but I personally would let this particular story go on for atleast three sequels.
    Maybe you could pull a hellboy, (the movie ya know) make him stay on earth and let him fight for good until God thinks he is ready to go back to hell. I don't know, thats what I would do if I were you.
    I hope I helped just a pinch. Good luck!
     
  8. Raxxus Von Harken
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    Raxxus Von Harken New Member

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    Not a bad idea.

    Thats actually not a bad idea.
    I say stick with it. It sounds good.
     
  9. Dr. Doctor
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    Dr. Doctor Contributing Member

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    Not a big fan of the Hellboy movies, but the going back to hell thing is what logically might happen - just because I have in my mind a scene where Hell opens up before him.

    Never had any other intentions.
     
  10. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    "They make movies like Saw and Hostile 2 and they laugh while watching it. Even I would never have conceived of such a thing," Satan said.
     
  11. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    An alternate idea could be that he's happy to be out of hell, 'cause hell sucks, and he's trying to strike deals with people so that he can stay here.
     
  12. Dr. Doctor
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    Dr. Doctor Contributing Member

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    No, but I do have this:

    "...and made me feel like I was at the world's biggest rock concert. I did often go to rock concerts, though, for I had created rock music, just as all of the frail old ladies always said. Because they were right about everything."
     
  13. sprirj
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    Marking school work? Or are you some genius kid? Either way I'm impressed with your fountain of knowledge :)
     
  14. Acglaphotis
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    Thanks :redface:. It's all mostly out of the web and some books I had. It's a pretty interesting topic I liked, so it wasn't like I just knew that, I'm no genius. I just have a bit too much free time.
     
  15. Dcara83
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    Dcara83 New Member

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    you should remember one thing as you write about the devil. he doesn't "run" hell. he's just an inmate running though it.



    no weapon shall prosper.


    it is written is what jesus said
     
  16. Mercurial
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    If you've never read it, definitely check out The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis. It's a very quick read of letters between Uncle Screwtape and the demon Wormwood in which Wormwood asks his Uncle Screwtape (who is rather high on the food chain as far as demons go) how to better corrupt his target; it sounds vaguely similar to what you're writing about, and it is much about the desensitization of evil...

    I dont quite understand what you're asking for, however; specific ideas? I cant give you any, because I'd probably be giving away one of my own --I have a story involving demons and devils as well. ;)

    I found a lot of my ideas researching old demon and devil myths, however, and I even read The Bible, a few chapters at least. It gave me a better understanding of how demons and devils might operate.
     
  17. Dr. Doctor
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    I was just asking what you all thought would be good ideas for the story to jump start my brain to think what to write. Since then, I've been expanding the story and have a more clear direction now. I've even got a perfectly humorous ending in mind. Thanks to all, and I'll try to check out the CS Lewis book sometime.
     
  18. CommonGoods
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    CommonGoods Senior Member

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    As far as information and the 'alternate' devil goes; I always suggest "Mr. Deity". Go check out Veoh. Mind you, it's a podcast, not a book. Still, great stuff.
     

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