Other Cool Blogs: Magical Words 5/18/2012

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What Maketh a Monster?

In Magical Words, A.J. Hartley explained on May 18, 2012 how he created monsters for his middle grade series Darwen. Being middle grade, he avoided human monsters and, instead, dug deep into the traditional sense of monsters.

An Unsettling Hybrid – two things melded together when they shouldn’t be. Not chocolate and peanut butter; more like pizza and pineapple. The example he gives is Frankenstein’s monster assembled from multiple bodies. The monster doesn’t have to be evil (though it helps), the creature just needs to be feared – troubling our human sensitivities.

And, for Mr. Hartley, it can’t be familiar. Vampires have become habitual. Shifters typical. True monsters make your stomach drop and twist because they are wrong, wrong, wrong. Yet one thing, one horribly right thing, puts them in this reality.

 You can review more on the topic here: (and remember to read the comments for additional ideas)

My take-away is monsters, even human monsters, need something unsettling about them. What makes them a danger to humans beyond simple “they could kill me”? What about being around them makes the human brain skitter and squeal “not right, not right, not right”?