Michaeline: What I’ve Learned About Monsters

The Bride of Frankenstein

Monsters need love so badly . . . . (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

What have I learned from my exploration of monsters this month? Monsters are people, too. They have more power than most people because of their otherness makes them transcend the rules most people have to/want to follow. But, there’s no real consensus on what makes a monster a monster. They can be intrinsically good, bad or mixed. They can be different from most people physically, spiritually or psychologically. They can either arc, or they can not arc, and sometimes they find it impossible to arc. But when they arc, they can drive a story further, because of the power that their otherness brings to the story.

I have several monsters in my WIP. Some of them, you have to squint to see their monstrous attitudes and positions, because these days, “otherness” is not quite as shocking as it used to be (and thank goodness for that!). They are all growing into a new phase of their lives.

The monstrous rake has been reformed by love and wants to find his inner Good Boy to be worthy of love in return.

The monstrous ex- is ready to let go of her version of reality and accept that love is something different from what she thought it was. She not only gives up the rake, but she is ready to cut ties with her father, as well. In return, she’ll get a partner who makes her happy and is willing to work with her.

For my heroine, love is turning her into a monster – she feels unworthy of love, and she’ll do anything for the power she thinks she needs in order to stay by her lover’s side. I’m not quite sure that can be resolved in this novella, though.

And finally, I’ve got a monster with a heart of gold who is insecure in his looks, and also insecure with his past actions. He’s got to find the strength to forgive himself, and prove he’s worthy of forgiveness and redemption.

All monsters, but I hope they’ll be likable, even lovable, monsters. Because after all, it’s a rare person who doesn’t see a tiny bit of monster down deep in their own souls. If we can forgive these monsters, maybe we can forgive ourselves. Or vice versa

Previous installments of my October Monster Series:

Part One: https://eightladieswriting.com/2016/10/08/michaeline-monsters-and-revenge/

Part Two: https://eightladieswriting.com/2016/10/15/michaeline-the-monsters-transformational-power/

Part Three: https://eightladieswriting.com/2016/10/22/michaeline-transformation-of-a-monster/


2 thoughts on “Michaeline: What I’ve Learned About Monsters

  1. It’s been fun reading about monsters! And I think this is so true: that monsters have more power because they can transcend the rules of normal social behavior — but also, that they have power because mortals relinquish it from fear.

    Sounds like you’ve got a lot going on in your WIP! I look forward to reading it at some point. 🙂

    • It’s been fun thinking about them, too, although I’m not sure I got anywhere deep and meaningful this month. I think for me, the biggest thing about this series was finally giving myself permission to portray monsters as multi-faceted. One of the traditional “features” of monsters (as opposed to bugs) is that you knew what you were getting with a monster with very little authorial explanation. Vampires: suck blood, fear garlic and holy stuff. Werewolves: pack-driven, doggy-like, beastly during the full moon.

      A lot of writers these days are digging deeper, though. The team known as Ilona Andrews really puts the were-beast into a more human category. You mentioned last week the complexities of Spike and Angel from the Buffy series. My friend mentioned Discord and Starlight from My Little Pony, and she also brought up the very interesting case of the Klingons. Were the Klingons always intrinsically bad? Or were they just viewed as bad in the beginning, but as their interests aligned, they were able to be seen as allies and friends? That’s not a transformation of the monster; that’s a transformation of the heroes.

      (-: Anyway, I think I’m ready to write now! And I’m counting on your eyes to help me see better into my story, once I get it done!

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