So recently I watched an excellent video on Slender man on the PBS Idea Channel (awesome stuff, do highly recommend!) as well as the “4 Creepy Truths Behind Popular Scary Stories" video on Cracked, which got me thinking about Slender man (a bit late, I know).
Mike talks about how Slender man is modern day folklore, but unlike most other folklore, the “folks” who brought Slender Man to life were the denizens of the internet.
It’s said that symbols, folklore, and mythology arise through shared experiences and the subconscious ideas that form from them. In some cases, the experience might be pretty universal…
…while others are very specific to their context. But when they do happen to be specific to a context, popular folklore can reveal a lot about that given culture.
That being said, if we were to look at Slender man as folklore born from the shared experiences of the digital age, what would he reveal about contemporary subconscious fears? Well let’s take a look at what he is.
It’s easy to focus on the cast over the crew in entertainment, and the same could be said for characters and environment in writing. People always talk about dynamic and complex characters, but in reality a character is only as deep as their surroundings. It’s amazing how much we underestimate or forget the greatest (in my opinion) trait of the human species: Adaptability. We are all a product of our world and, really, so should your characters.