1. Lea`Brooks

    Lea`Brooks Contributor Contributor

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    How might a human turn into an evil creature?

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Lea`Brooks, Jan 29, 2017.

    In one WIP, I have a character becoming so corrupted by power that she turns into a demon-like creature. It happens right after she kills her sister to "win a game." I originally thought that she just became so corrupted that the act of killing a loved one twists her into something dark and unnatural. But I'm worried that's not a good enough explanation.

    Maybe she should have to drink some concoction? Or go through some ritual? Or maybe just leave it as is? Any suggestions?
     
  2. OJB

    OJB A Mean Old Man Contributor

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    Lea, a few years ago I wrote a story with a similar idea (and maybe one day I'll return to it to finish). In any case, how I went about it is that my character started off as a good-hearted person. As she dived into a world filled with monsters, hedonist, and nihilist, she slowly changed. At the end of the story, she became a very thing she was fighting against due to being submerged in their world for so long.

    In essence: prolonged exposure to a certain enviroment changes you.
     
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  3. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    It depends on the type of story you're writing. Does it naturally have fantasy elements in it where actions affect a physical and symbolic change in the characters and the real world? As in, for example, I once read a fantasy drama called Of Mist and Bees - it's a rather unique story really. It's set in what is obviously a fantasy world but that looks exactly like the real one, and everything that happens is highly symbolic, except these symbols are actually happening in this world. To give an example, the MC's father and mother's marriage are breaking down - it was simply explained that one night a cold wind blew through the window and ever since then, the marriage has been cold. This is the start of the symbolism, really. Later, the husband goes missing and the MC eventually finds him lying in bed in a house, frozen inside a block of ice. No matter what anybody does, the ice will not thaw. The MC obviously takes her father home and his mistress comes knocking, begging to see her lover one last time. The MC refuses. The mistress walks away, distraught, and fades into the sunlight, literally. The mistress quite literally slowly disappears, meaning that she has been forgotten.

    So, in that world's context, these happenings were acceptable because that's how the story has been established from the start.

    Thus, with yours, it kinda depends on the type of story you've written. If it's gritty and down to earth and now suddenly your MC becomes a literal demon, that's gonna be jarring. If, on the other hand, people's actions have always affected the person physically in some way, reflected by a change in their physical world/appearance etc, then it could be all right.
     
  4. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    That is pretty evil, but not evil enough.
    Even in the VG Fable you had to kill a lot of 'innocent'
    people before you started growing horns and getting
    red glowing eyes.

    So you might have her fall down a slippery slope starting
    with the murder of her sister, snowballing into more
    acts of evil. Like killing people for lesser reasons,
    such as not telling her what she wants to know and the
    like.
    Or even just going on a murder spree of indiscriminate
    nature.
    Something has to give, unless her sister has some kind
    of direct tie to the forces of good that is big enough to
    merit her into turning into a demon.
     
  5. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    That is pretty evil, but not evil enough.
    Even in the VG Fable you had to kill a lot of 'innocent'
    people before you started growing horns and getting
    red glowing eyes.

    So you might have her fall down a slippery slope starting
    with the murder of her sister, snowballing into more
    acts of evil. Like killing people for lesser reasons,
    such as not telling her what she wants to know and the
    like.
    Or even just going on a murder spree of indiscriminate
    nature.
    Something has to give, unless her sister has some kind
    of direct tie to the forces of good that is big enough to
    merit her into turning into a demon.
     
  6. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    How common do you want turning into a demon to be in your story's world?
     
  7. Lea`Brooks

    Lea`Brooks Contributor Contributor

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    All very good points!

    Essentially, the story is about my MC, her sister, and ten or fifteen other girls who have been kidnapped by a demon. He plays "games" with them, resulting in the death of at least one girl after every game. The mission is to be the last one standing. MC starts down the slippery slope of becoming something dark, first to stay alive, but then because she secretly enjoys it. She lies, cheats, and beats a girl to a bloody pulp to win. At the end of the story, my MC, her sister, and two or three other girls escape. The two other girls are killed and the demon corners my MC's sister. Somehow, my MC gets ahold of a weapon and finds her sister and the demon before anything happens. She could kill the demon right there, but instead kills her sister, who she had growing resentment for her entire life. This final act breaks her and turns her completely dark, and she decides to stay with the demon who kidnapped her.

    So there are definitely fantasy elements. I'm okay with it being a magical solution, so long as it doesn't feel like a cop out. I'm honestly not sure how common I want it to be. There are three demons total in my story, at least one of which was turned in the same way I planned on turning my MC.

    Does that help? :p
     
  8. Dnaiel

    Dnaiel Senior Member

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    I'll just point out that a lot of people dumped into survival mode by murder are going to carry an enormous guilt complex. People do funny things to manage their guilt. Some better than others. You don't really need magic to make a good person bad. Just a little psychology.
     
  9. 123456789

    123456789 Contributor Contributor

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    First off, love the story idea. I'm not a fan of your other one, but this one is solid and really gives you a lot to work with.

    I think you can do whatever you want. My opinion is that once she killers her sister, there's no breaking or completely turning "dark." She's already a monster at this point. How you want to show that. She looks at her reflection, or she combusts into a demon ala Black Swan, that's up to you.
     
  10. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    We got that :D

    If familial murder turns people into demons, then I would think that there'd be a lot more than just three of them.

    Maybe demons turn humans over an extended period of servitude, and the murder was just the thing that convinced the demon "this girl is a worthwhile investment of my time and energy"?
     
  11. 123456789

    123456789 Contributor Contributor

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    It's not just familiar murder. Re-read her post. The MC was turning bad and doing bad things before this.
     
  12. 123456789

    123456789 Contributor Contributor

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    @Lea`Brooks

    As I said it's a solid idea and luckily Breaking Bad if nothing else has set a precedent for you. A man discovers his true (psychopath) self when confronted with the prospect of his own death. I totally get that your MC killing her sister is not the cause of her turning evil, but rather the final symptom.
     
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  13. G.A. Kainne

    G.A. Kainne Member

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    What if you have the story set up that the Demons' goal was to create another demon. And the way to do that was to corrupt a soul and the ritual to do so was via a bloodbath of ritual killing, that you are calling this Demons game. He must have had a reason for selecting the 15 girls, it would be safe to assume that all of the girls have the seeds of corruption already pre built into their characters. The game is then simply a ritual to proliferate the Demons' followers. Maybe even have him always providing the weapons or perhaps even make it a ceremonial dagger of sorts...
     
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  14. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    Yeah, but there would still be a lot more than 4 of those people in the world (3 existing, plus the MC as the new one).

    The FBI estimates that there are 50 serial killers active in America at this moment, and if demons are near-immortal in the OP's world, then we need to look at the the number of serial killers who have ever lived.

    I would think that the number is greater than 4.
     
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  15. G.A. Kainne

    G.A. Kainne Member

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    I agree that it cannot just be murder. Demons and rituals go hand and hand if it was murder Charles Manson wouldn't have been rushed to the hospital and your world would be filled with many demons... You should really think about the ritual or even potentially build your characters backgrounds more. And most importantly don't forget that the Demon is a character as well, with motives of some kind. Mischief is less likely to be the case in a scenario where kidnaping is involved. Characters are the bread and butter of your story link them together. I always like to view my story like a jigsaw puzzle that I first have to create each piece before finding its place. I've been working on my novel for years and I'm still not at a finished product.
     
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  16. Lea`Brooks

    Lea`Brooks Contributor Contributor

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    Yes, exactly!! He watches these girls, has other demons befriend them, and learns as much about them as possible before deciding if they're worth it or not. He picked the ones he did because he saw potential in them to become like him. (I haven't come up with a good reason for why he wants to corrupt a human yet though.) Each "game" is a test, to open them up more and more and tap into their anger.

    But I was afraid that would be too.. I dunno. Silly maybe?
     
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  17. 123456789

    123456789 Contributor Contributor

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    I think this idea can be as vague and surreal (or not) as you want. Meaning, the games and tests don't have to be super transparent, if you don't want them to be.

    It's a simple plot but like I said there's a lot you can (between the lines) say here.
     
  18. Lea`Brooks

    Lea`Brooks Contributor Contributor

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    Absolutely! It's taken me a while to get it off the ground because I want to make sure each girl has a distinct personality and rich history and that each game is dark, scary, and meaningful in some way. It's still not ready to write yet, but I'm looking so forward to it.
     
  19. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    The first thing I thought when reading the thread title was "curse". Take the idea of curses back to their earliest level, and the notion of an ordinary person expressing their desire for something nasty to happen to someone else. In some traditions, it didn't require any sort of ritual: Person A could just verbally express how much they hated Person B, and Person B would be cursed.

    Tying this into the topic at hand, you could have your MC's sister curse the MC with her dying breath. Something to the effect of "May the world see you as I've come to" or "May you look as evil as your heart is". Those may be poorly worded examples, but I think they illustrate the concept. The extreme emotions at play in this rather extreme situation would keep the change into a demonic being from being a common occurrence. On the other hand, being killed with a weapon is generally bloody to some extent or another, so if blood magic is a factor in this world, it could make the sister's words cause the change, instead of the extreme emotions. Or you could combine both.

    Working from this, perhaps the demon's process goes:

    1) Select corruptible people and bring out their absolute worst behavior.

    2) Once they're at their worst, have other humans reject them as human. Perhaps it even has to be someone who is or once was close to the person in question. (I mean, we demonize perpetrators of terrible acts all the time, call them monsters, etc. So what if saying that actually had a physical effect?)

    3) Boom, you have a new demon. The process is simple, but also arcane enough that demons aren't everywhere. It could also be merged with the curse idea.

    I don't know, I hope these ideas prove helpful.
     
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  20. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    No, no, there's plenty you could do with that :)

    You probably don't need a rich history for every single one of them, maybe focus on just 5 main characters and 10 secondary ones?

    You'd certainly have an interesting rebuttal to anybody accusing you of copying The Hunger Games ;)

    The Hunger Games was a Lighter-and-Softer, more straight-forward Good versus Evil interpretation of an earlier Japanese work Battle Royale about everyday teenagers being driven to sociopathic madness after being kidnapped for bloodsport. You're not copying The Hunger Games, you're undoing the damage from the Disneyfication of the genre by bringing audiences back to where the genre started :twisted:
     
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  21. Lea`Brooks

    Lea`Brooks Contributor Contributor

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    Yeah, I think you're right. Fortunately, I haven't planned them all yet, so I can stop before I get too deep. :p I only have the demons, my MC, her sister, and two other girls.

    Stories like that are actually what made me want to write this. I'm so sick of the happy endings -- the good girl wins, yay! No. I've been wanting to write a story for so long that doesn't end happily.

    This story is actually inspired by a novel called The Hunter by L J Smith. It's about a shadow demon who falls in love with a mortal girl. He puts her and her friends through a twisted game (literally sucks them into a board game) in an attempt to win her. In the end, she tricks him and locks him up so she and her friends can get away. And ever since I read that book, I always hated the ending. So this is me writing my own! lol

    I know my storyline is very similar to The Hunter, but I'm going to make sure they're very different. And mine is going to be a lot darker. lol
     
  22. 123456789

    123456789 Contributor Contributor

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    According to some advice, you might want to mention it's like The Hunter in your query
     
  23. Lea`Brooks

    Lea`Brooks Contributor Contributor

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    I'll keep that in mind. Thanks! :D
     
  24. Lea`Brooks

    Lea`Brooks Contributor Contributor

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    BTW, I really like the idea of using blood magic somehow. I think it could add to the dark, creepy factor but still give it the magical, unique reason I'm looking for. Thanks!
     
  25. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    Being born with a silver spoon in the mouth, and no experience with the real world or real people can turn folks into evil caricatures of human beings. They never grow out of the notion that everything they want is theirs on demand, and they are so spoiled they never expect to be punished for anything they do.

    What kind of background does your character come from? (I haven't read this entire thread, so you might have already answered this question.) Were the seeds of this 'turn' sowed long ago in her life? The notion that she is better than everyone else, so she has a right to prosper at their expense? And maybe a demon knows and exploits this?
     
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