Sunday, January 10, 2010

Trapping Demons

I went to see AVATAR yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed watching someone else's world in action. Loved the detail. I was reminded that dreaming up new worlds and new creatures is an awesome job, but it requires a lot of paperwork.

Paperwork like the Demon Trappers Manual which will eventually be on the website. Trappers are ranked according to their status in the Guild - apprentice, journeyman and master - much like other trades. When an apprentice begins learning how to trap demons they are given a small portion of the manual to keep them from trapping above their abilities. Less dead apprentices that way. When they reach journeyman they get more of the manual and so on.

I included the first couple of pages of the manual (in particular the Demon Identification Guide) with my proposal and my editor loved it. So now I'm fleshing out the whole thing, not only as something my readers might like but also to keep me on the straight and narrow when it comes to Hellspawn. In my world demons are classified by cunning and lethality ranging from Grade Ones to Grade Fives and then on to the Archfiends. (The Fallen Angels are another thing altogether). There are specific ways to trap these fiends, including the use of magical spheres which means the author needs to remember all that. Hence the need for the manual.

An excerpt:

Definition: A demon is any entity who serves Lucifer, the Prince of Hell. (See Section 5:45-52 for a detailed history of Lucifer’s Fall from Heaven. See Section 5:52-53 for Hell’s Organizational Chart.)

Grade One Fiends
Name: Biblio-Fiend
Nickname(s): PITA (pain-in-the-ass) or Little Pisser
Description: Three inches tall with chocolate brown skin and pointed ears.
Demonic Activity: Destroys books, urinates indiscriminately, prone to expletives.

These fiends are commonly found in libraries, bookstores or in book warehouses. They have an affinity for books, but their primary desire is to destroy them. Trapping them takes advantage of their love-hate relation with the written word. Reading from a book, particularly a classic work with dense prose, will cause a temporary paralysis. Once disabled, they can be secured in a closed container for transport.

And so it goes on from there. I have to admit this is pretty much a blast to write. Now if I could only figure out Hell's Organizational Chart. I got the head guy, I just need to figure out the rest.


steve on the slow train said...

Very interesting. I've also adopted the apprentice/journeyman/master sustem for the metaphysicians in my novel.

I've heard people argue vociferously that Lucifer, the Bringer of Light, is an entirely different entity than the Prince of Darkness. Still, they're commonly identified as one and the same.

The Biblio-fiend is wonderful.

Jana Oliver said...

The apprentice, journeyman, master titles are so common in the trades, both fantastical and everyday. I was going to try to figure new names for those designations and then decided not to reinvent the wheel.

I've seen various descriptions of Lucifer -- minion of God, evil and jealous enemy, etc.. I'm more partial to the Adversary version of Lucifer than attributing him so much power as some do. In my mind, he's an even more formidable force if he's working on Heaven's orders.