People like mysteries. We like the unknown, the “what ifs,” and the maybe’s. Humanity loves to try and figure things out. I believe that mystery drives a lot of story-telling. I don’t mean so much in the direct sense, like solving a crime or figuring out whodunnit, though these are certainly populer, but in the sense that things that are not solved, are not completely known drive us to speculate and wonder.
In urban fantasy, which I write, every story is based upon mystery of some kind. More often than not, they involve the supernatural in some way, whether it be magic or strange creatures interacting with our world. How could we write stories involving demons and all the denizens of the underworld if we had definitive proof that it didn’t exist? Readers would not take it as seriously, would not suspend disbelief enough to be carried away in the story. The fact that we don’t know allows us to create infinite possibilities.
My series involves the afterlife, that which lies beyond our world when we die. There are many theories. We have a rich history of attempting to proove or disprove what and if exists beyond the living world. The fact is, we can’t be 100% sure what is out there. Maybe we’re 99.9% sure that nothing is out there, but something in the back of our brains won’t let go of the notion, that just maybe there is. We want there to be more than just what there is. It makes life more interesting, and let’s face it, humans have a hard time with the idea that we just live and die and that’s it. There must be more!
So, in this sense, mystery is a good thing. I like mystery. I honestly don’t want definitive answers to everything. Leaving some things unknown, without clear answers makes life far more interesting. So, all you theorists out there who want to prove or disprove these strange notions of what may or may not exist beyond the physical world, quite worrying about it! Mystery is good. Mystery is the spark of imagination. Mystery provides for great story-telling, and since I like to tell stories, I’m quite fine leaving mysteries just the way they are. Mysterious.