The Novelry Blog

Where the writers are.

Managing Evil in Fiction Apr 18, 2021

From the Desk of Polly Ho-Yen.

How do we ‘manage’ evil in the stories we are telling?

Writing for children means I often write with children. When I’m running writing workshops in schools, I have the pleasure of hearing the hugely inventive story ideas stewing in children’s heads, first hand. They’ll tell me their premise – a group of chickens take over the world, a scientist creates a formula that turns people into robots, a banana goes on a rampage - and I’ll ask why? Why do the chickens take over, why does the professor do this, why does a banana decide one day, enough is enough...? The typical response I’ll get, with an 'isn’t it obvious' shrug, is: ‘Because they’re evil.’

We feed children tales of good versus evil from an early age, through fairy tales and superhero stories. ‘The Baddie’ has become shorthand for evil, and children are incredibly familiar with the concept and more than...

Click here to read on...
Follow on Instagram

Get on the list!

Get the Sunday paper for writers to your inbox.