1. PurpleCandle
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    PurpleCandle Senior Member

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    Demons

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by PurpleCandle, Jan 21, 2011.

    Without using google!!!

    I am working on a character. I would like to know average people think of demons.

    What are your thoughts on demons?
    What attributes come to mind?
    First words that pop into your head?
    What do you think they look like?
    Where do they live?
    Where did they come from?

    Just whatever you think of them.

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. J_Jammer
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    J_Jammer Banned

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    I think that demons and angels look the same. They just have different attitudes. But for story purposes people always make them look different so one looks evil and the other looks good.

    Angels are bright and clean looking, then demons would be not so bright and less clean.

    according to the Bible demons are just angels no longer working for God. I don't see how they'd alter too much.

    I think they are very smart and they don't fall for stupid tricks.

    I think they're far smarter than people write them as.
     
  3. PurpleCandle
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    PurpleCandle Senior Member

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    Thanks!! I want to write this character completely different from what I think most people think of them.

     
  4. HeinleinFan
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    HeinleinFan Banned

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    Eh. Don't know how "normal" I am, but ... It's fun to speculate.

    I think demons, like most mythical / mystical creatures, have a number of possible origins. There's the whole "fallen angel" thing, where they're gifted in many ways, just not "good" in that they don't serve God. They might or might not actually serve the Adversary; maybe they're just doing their own thing, trying to find a third way in a universe where there are strict laws and rules, but a lot of space where the relevant Authorities will watch and not act. So maybe they're just sort of doing their thing, hoping to spend a good portion of eternity not attracting much attention from God or His enemies.

    Or, you know, they could just be weird alien intelligences. I mean, what if djinni and demons were essentially the same thing? Or different, ah, tribes of the same sort of thing?

    Attributes? Maybe not humanoid, but able to assume humanoid form. Able to float or fly; able to manipulate local physics. Some of them may be able to alter time in certain ways -- slow it down, speed it up. Minor miracles. Illusions. That sort of thing.

    First words? Alien. Strange. Possibly evil, or unknowable. "There may be beings in this universe that can think as well as you do, but differently."

    No idea what they'd look like. If they can alter their appearance... I mean, they might alter their figure to suit their purpose, but then their appearance will vary with their goal.

    Where do they live / come from? Heh. Could vary from generically "Elsewhere" to hidden places or other dimensions.
     
  5. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thoughts on demons. Well I think the whole possession thing is a bit boring at times. Demons for me is a bit of a broad thing. I mean demons in some form or another pop up in all sorts of cultures. The demons from the Abrahamic religions are different then the ones you might find in Japanese culture.

    My thoughts on the use of them is: People should search wide and far and study up on the various cultures. They should probably go beyond the Abrahamic ones.

    Anywhere from Possession to actual flesh, to more spirit. Hard to say.

    Black Eyes, Yellow Eyes, and Black Smoke.

    But thats because I am a fan of Supernatural.

    Anywhere from a beautiful lady to monster like things I guess.

    Which ones? The ones from the Abrahamic Religions? I'd probably say Hell in most cases. Others I don't know enough.

    Not a clue.
     
  6. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I'd recommend you stay away from the steoreotypical descriptions of being red, horned etc. It's cheesy, just like green aliens are cheesy. If you want to creep the reader out, put a whole new spin on the concept. If you're going for horror (and I'm not sure that you are; just speculating), then it's much more descriptive to describe the creepy things done by demons and clues that they leave behind than describing what they actually look like -- after all, when you're 5, the scariest thing about the closet monster is that you don't see it and your imagination runs wild.

    Also, to add on to what Unit said, don't use the same ideas (possession, etc) that have been used 1000s of times. This won't scare the readers; they'll know what's coming.
     
  7. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    They're hideous and vaguely humanoid.
    They're unrestrained and very dangerous, like a murderous psychopath.
    Words that pop into my head: red, horned, scales, light, candle, circle
    They live in some kind of dark underworld. Possibly they are a remnant of a race of dark beings which once lived on Earth, and possibly they're from another plane of existence.

    For my own fictional world, I've gone for three types of demons who live in the same underworld:

    1. Those which look like humans. They are actually humans who have devoted themselves to the study of dark magic, moved to the underworld and become more or less immortal. May be hundreds or thousands of years old.
    2. Those who look like animals. They're able to talk, and may be animal spirits, tribal gods whom people have long since stopped worshipping, or humans or humanoids who have turned into animals. No one knows for sure, and nobody trusts what a demon says. May be thousands or millions of years old.
    3. The strange ones. Dark, misshapen beings with any number of eyes, limbs or mouths. Unable to communicate. May be millions or billions of years old.
     
  8. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    What are your thoughts on demons?

    Like others have said humans/beasts which are scary. Unless you watched Buffy as a teenager in which case some are hot. I only have one or two in my stories I don't call them demons as such.

    What attributes come to mind?

    Supernatural, wrong in some way

    First words that pop into your head?

    see above

    What do you think they look like?

    everyone else

    Where do they live?

    depends my MC thinks the demon in my book lives behind a desk at school (she is the school secretary)

    Where did they come from?

    Both my religious beliefs and stories indicate God created.
     
  9. Headintheclouds
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    Headintheclouds Member

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    What are your thoughts on demons?
    Personally when I think of demons, I like of Youkai, which are sort of like demons found in Japanese mythology, and still appear in Japanese literary works today. The demons in this sense are different from fallen angels...they come in many different forms. They are usually a combination of human and animal traits, or are angry spirits and ghosts. Often, some types of demons are able to possess people.

    What attributes come to mind?
    I see them varying. The more human demons are more intelligent, and therefore more sadistic and cunning. They lure people with traps, torture them, trick them... The more animalistic demons are like animals...wild and uncontrollable, but with a thirst for destruction.

    First words that pop into your head?
    Youkai, teeth, curses, skeletons, webs, spiders, snakes, insects, possession, torture, sadistic, epic battles, blood, exorcism, swarm, flying. war, scream, sadistic...

    What do you think they look like?
    I personally invision humanoids with animal like qualities, like a snake with a woman's head, or a man with claws and the amber eyes of a wolf. I think of floating spirits, glowing eyes, large mouths and the tortured screams of the innocent. Some higher grades of demons are able to shift, but lower level demons cannot.

    Where do they live?

    The lower grade, animalistic ones live together in caves, dormant volcanoes, underwater, in shrines, ect, or they roam, destroying as they go. Often they cause as much destruction to one another as to others. They often eat the weaker demons, and battle others for scraps of meat. The more human ones may be able to live with humans and hide among them, or may live in special lairs designed to ensnare victims. They may also wander.

    Where did they come from?
    Unsure. Some may be spirits, trapped on the earthly plane and twisted and tortured into madness. Others may be born. Some may be created through magics that go wrong, or through curses.
     
  10. SashaMerideth
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    SashaMerideth Contributing Member

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    What are your thoughts on demons?
    I don't know what to say to this one. I answered it last, and I don't think all demons are evil or malevolent, they are just supernatural, and sometimes we get in their way.

    What attributes come to mind?
    Intelligent, tricksters that have their own unique supernatural abilities to get what they want from their existance.

    First words that pop into your head?
    Untrustworthy, unpredictable

    What do you think they look like?
    I think they can take many forms, from dragons to mice, but each stays fixed in their form, no shapeshifting.

    Where do they live?
    They live wherever they can, places where they can go unnoticed or hidden.

    Where did they come from?
    They have always been around, since before man walked the earth.
     
  11. Chickendancer
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    Chickendancer Senior Member

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    Hello PC. Firstly I would like to say that I love demons. Just love em' to death. No pun. When I first think of a demon I envisage the classical, now rather campy, horned demon. But a lot has changed over the years, has it not. We have seen good and bad demons, as we've seen good and bad vampires. So the genre, really, is wide open, is it not? But I will tell you this: if you write a story with a demon in it, I will line up behind every other demon fan to read it. I know this is mimimalist, but still hope it helps, a little.
     
  12. Xeniyah
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    Xeniyah Member

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    What are your thoughts on demons?
    Demons are evil, are looking to gain without giving and are deceptive. They can come in any form

    What attributes come to mind?
    Manipulative, deceptive, evil, greedy, lust for power

    First words that pop into your head?
    Hell, dark places, underground, fear, fire

    What do you think they look like?
    They can come in any form, depending on the setting. A demon that is more manipulative and more subtle, usually appears in human form to earn trust. A demon that is situated in an underground setting and rarely seeks any contact, is significantly different (and considered scary) from the 'normal population'.

    Where do they live?
    They can live in any place.

    Where did they come from?
    Again, this depends on what you want. If you take a more classical approach, they were once Gods who choose the wrong path somewhere in the story. If you take a more modern approach, I'd go for evolution.

    Interesting to gather information this way :) Nice work!
     
  13. PurpleCandle
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    PurpleCandle Senior Member

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    WOW!! Talk about differing interpretations from one person to another!!

    Looks like I will really have to detail this character's back story because the reader will likely have a different idea of what a demon is in mind.

    Thanks for your opinions everyone!!!!
     
  14. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    If you go with the classic mideast religion idea of demons having once been angels there's lots of fun to be had.

    Scary:

    I would not find the straight up demon who hates humanity to be that scary. They're too simplistic becaue they just hate you, so you can hate them back, and why wouldn't meeting such creatures instantly make me believe in god?

    That's: Demon 1

    More Scary:

    I find it creepy that humans who don't want to kill people, are tired of it, unsure of their mission, etc can kill anyway. I'm thinking of soldiers here who would rather be home, fishing, and so forth but will load the guns, drop the firebombs, or whatever. They're going through the motions and phoning it in as the say in show biz.

    That's: Demon 2

    Demons aren't real and so they're just a representation of humans. If I had my choice, I'd much rather fight and die via Demon 1 than by Demon 2 because it would suck getting killed by someone that would rather be doing something else.

    It would be interesting to have the demons/angels over the whole rebellion thing and wish they were out of hell, but now it's just their job to be demons and they don't like it much.
     
  15. lyteside
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    lyteside Member

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    Having encountered an entity that I would consider a demon, all I can say is that the experience was terrifying...

    The feeling wasn't just an emotion of fear that one has from a "scary experience" (someone pointing a gun at you, or about to drive off a cliff), but rather there was an external blanket of dread and terror that came with it.
     
  16. PurpleCandle
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    PurpleCandle Senior Member

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    Do you mean a person who was bad enough to be considered a demon? A sociopath?

    If you like you can PM more :)
     
  17. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Yes, please PM me as well. :)
     
  18. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    Don't PM me. ;)
     
  19. Islander
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    Don't worry, he'll come in your dreams.

    muahahahaha...
     
  20. lyteside
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    heh, I don't mind talking about it.

    It certainly wasn't a person. The closest thing I could liken it to was a fixed area of "heat waves" (like you see coming off blacktop) that moved in through an open window, up the wall, across the ceiling, and behind me into the kitchen area. Then "it" starting rhythmically flicking plastic cups onto the floor from the counter top.

    I'll make sure to PM you guys with the details when i get a chance - sure don't want to derail the topic here.
     
  21. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Wow...that's way creepy.
     
  22. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    Too late.

    I've been working in mental health for almost twenty-two years and I'm suggest going to see a doctor. Sometimes brain tumors or a special kind of seizure can cause such perceptions. Famous people like Van Gogh had the latter.
     
  23. Pen
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    The image that's conjured when I hear "demons" is of a far more religious bent than more generic monsters, ghouls or ghosts. As such, I'd expect them to be quite strongly rule bound and associated with specific "sins" as opposed to a more general evil. Something being described as a demon usually suggests there is some kind of mythology behind it, and typically one with a heaven and hell.

    Their origins would most likely be some kind of hell, whether that be a bible-story hell of eternal suffering or a specific hell on earth (an old and horrible ritual, or indeed a recent but foul crime could be literally brought to life in the form of a demon- think of, for example, the girl from the Ring videotape).

    Other forms of demons could be more metaphorical- thoughts and ideas in somebody's head that force them to relive old traumas- it would gain its "entity" perhaps by behaving as a living organism- it could be transmissible, it could appear as a separate personality or it could leave a sign on those it affects.

    Generally I'd boil it down to an entity capable of some degree of reason (going from at one extreme Sadako from the Ring, who could plausibly be called a mere manifestation of a curse, to the other, the Lucifer of Paradise Lost, a fully fleshed out, corporeal, mythical demon who is a full fledged villain/antihero), who is bound by certain rules, and whose ends are generally evil or "sinful", going from utterly evil to antiheroic.
     
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  24. lyteside
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    I like the "thoughts & ideas" concept, Pen.

    It would be fun and challenging to write about an entity that only held an intangible reality.

    Sort of reminds me of Number Six from Battlestar Galactica that talks to Dr. Gaius Baltar. Is it real or not? Fun stuff.
     
  25. J_Jammer
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    J_Jammer Banned

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    I'd like to add that demons are not crazy. They know what they are doing. If they were in court for a crime insanity would never work as a defense.
     

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