There Ain’t No Devil, That’s Just God When He’s Drunk

I am still recovering from an illness that should not be (described); so it seemed appropriate to share this interesting article from one of my favourite authors of metaMythos speculative fiction.


“Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one-the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”

C. S. Lewis
The Screwtape Letters

 This is a followup to this morning’s post on moral peril in fiction.  As I said in my other post, I do believe that protagonists should do the right thing (or at least as close to right as they can, as often as they can) but I enjoy the narrative tension of asking not only, “will the hero win?” but also, “will the hero remain a hero?”

What makes a character a “good guy” is an ethos.  In order to create believable moral peril–what I called “a credible threat of damnation”–that ethos has to be clear, sympathetic, breakable, and limiting. Let’s take a look at those attributes.

Clear: In order for the reader to understand that the character…

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