How many of you recall your first and consequent experience venturing into Silent Hill? Do you remember the chills that went up your spine, or the goosebumps up your skin waiting for something to appear around the corner or out of the mist?
I must confess, writing a Silent Hill novel has enhanced my experience of the franchise in more ways than a game could. Sure, the visual graphics is better in a sense that the atmosphere created has a way of spooking you out. And you can decide if you want to visually create the images conjured up by the book.
Yet, writing the novel has made it somewhat more intimate for me. For instance, when you first wield the copper pipe or shoot the shotgun in the games or see it in the movies, it’s like the characters have done it before. And you also don’t see any evolution in their strikes. How they hit the creature and killed it the first time kind of becomes staple throughout the game.
Yeah… a novel becomes way more intimate. There’s no “Take this!” the first time a new weapon is used, especially if the character has never used that weapon before. In the novel, the protagonist actually hurts his hand while wielding a copper pipe too hard, or injures his shoulder the first time he tries a shotgun. I know it’s almost ‘unrealistic‘ inserting some realism into Silent Hill, but for me these are important elements. As are becoming used to using the weapons and finding more creative ways of using them. Out of ammo? Just use the stock of the rifle to bang its head in.
This doesn’t mean I’m taking away from any central themes that have made us love Silent Hill. For me, it’s just enhancing the experience. It helps the reader understand that wielding a scalpel as a weapon for the first time isn’t just stab and run. You could twist your wrist in the process…
So while I start the second chapter of Act 2 tonight, dream in anticipation of just how great it will be to travel one more time into Silent Hill. You might want to play your favourite SH game just to set the mood.
In love and Grace
The Count of Celenic Earth