1. Pam Halter says:

    This is a terrific post! Thank you. You asked how we evaluate the fruit of a piece of horror literature. Your example of hearing what was written in Revelation is a perfect example. It led you to want to know what God said in His Word. It led you to salvation – not because you were “horrified” but because you learned who God really is. What better fruit than that?

    It reminds me of the lengthy discussion we had a few weeks back about The Hunger Games. If we look past the “horror” and find the fruit, which may change us for the better, how can we say it was a bad thing?

    Even Scripture says it is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31). If you don’t know and love God, yes, it will be dreadful. But not for those of us who are saved. Some might consider that “horror.” But if it bears good fruit, then it’s a good thing.

  2. Brent King says:

    I agree with Pam. Terrific post! Horror for the sake of horror is worthless, but horror used to illuminate and draw us to the delight of God is worthwhile. I guess that’s how I evaluate it.

  3. You have no idea how timely this post is for me. The manuscript I’m wrapping up—and in which I include a terrifying revelation—has had me praying earnestly for the Lord’s direction. I think in the days we are living in, a discussion of good vs evil in Christian fiction is very important. Thank you so much!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Great post 🙂

    I’ve personally avoided writing specific events because of my comfort (or rather discomfort) level. The characters in my last novel definitely weren’t perfect. But try as I might to show all aspects of one man, I didn’t feel comfortable writing a detailed horrific scene. Instead, the threat was implied.

  5. Excellent post on this. I agree that horror for the sake of horror just doesn’t go anywhere, but you’ve made some excellent points of the horrors of evil that threaten the good of characters. We have, unfortunately, in our world many examples of horrific situations. We shouldn’t ignore them, but change them.

    • kim says:

      I agree. Horror needs to have a purpose, not just ‘scare’ people. That’s boring. I think that’s why horror writers are going into gore, they are running out of ideas b/c they rely on Horror to guide the story. It gets boring after a while.

  6. kim says:

    Stands up and applauds!! What he said. Thanks for that post. I don’t get folks who put on the legalistic hat and say this is how it is with this subject. AS I had said before, Jesus faced many demon possessed people and rebuked them.  Saying we can’t use that in novels is saying Jesus was wrong to do what He did. Thanks for the post!! Hoot!!

  7. Jason Brown says:

    The mention of the scorpions brings to mind a short story from horror writer Joseph Nassise, “On This Day of Reckoning”, which takes place on one random night of the Tribulation. Incredibly well-told, described, chilling, mature, dark, and incredibly Biblical. And yes, there’s a mention of those creepy scorpions in there.

  8. Matthias M. Hoefler says:

    I agree with the other posts. In fact, this might be your best post yet, Mr. Copple.


    I don’t have a good answer for your question but would like to remind all us that horror can be an effect, a bit of variety in mood and tone that spices things up a bit. I think of a story or two in Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles. You can only write so many stories inducing sadness in the reader because of loss and death…

  9. J. S. Bailey says:

    I’ve read horror novels by a variety of authors. Some of them I liked…and some of them I didn’t. I realized that the ones I enjoyed the most had some kind of edifying theme.

    So now I write my own.

What do you think?