The Descending Darkness: Theme
“When you’re feeling like you’re lost out to sea, the only thing you can do is ride the waves and try your best to keep from going under.”
Quite a few people have asked me what the main theme of the novel is. Truth be told, it’s a very difficult question. Because I personally believe that there isn’t a specific theme. While writing I think either subconsciously or otherwise, I added several themes which run through the novel’s core. Despite everything, I’ve answered the question to the best of my ability and given the same answer over and over again: hope.
To understand the theme we need to go back a bit into my history.
It’s important to understand that I was in a dark time in my life when I started on the first draft of “TDD”. I was starting to come to terms with my sexuality and my anxiety disorder. And I was dealing with the repercussion of giving my heart to somebody who didn’t love me back. I felt really alone. I’d given up on happiness because I didn’t think that I deserved it – that I wasn’t good enough. I closed myself off and pulled away from everyone.
There was so much pain in me that I didn’t know how to properly deal with it. There were days when I would lay in bed all day and other days where I wanted to, but didn’t because I didn’t want anybody to catch on. Sometimes, everything got so overwhelming that I would hurt myself because in those moments the pain on the outside helped me think and ignore the pain that I felt inside. It wasn’t healthy and I don’t encourage anybody to do it. So please don’t. Talk to somebody, it’s a much better outlet.
Eventually I started to fight back against the demons. I started writing more, working out, and doing anything I could to take my focus away from those pesky voices in my head. And soon after, I found somebody who loved me for me and was willing to help me heal the hurt inside in a healthy way. And, not long after that, I finished “TDD” and found a publisher who connected to the story and published it.
The reason why the main theme of “TDD” is hope is because of what the characters go through. They are a group of strangers coming together and they have to work for a common goal. They’re taking a huge leap of faith with everything. They need to believe in themselves and each other if they want to succeed. They need to have hope. And that’s exactly what I needed to have, and eventually got back. The moment when I started thinking that I was worth something and that I did matter, things started getting better. And the moment when you lose sight of that is the moment that your world gets taken over by darkness. This is symbolized by the title of the novel and the actual event. The team can’t stop the darkness until they believe in their mission and themselves.
And lastly, another important element of the theme is the LGBT side. A few of the team are LGBT. My goal was to give LGBT youth heroes that they could look up to and relate with. This was important to me because growing up, there weren’t any gay superheroes that I knew of that I could look up to and/or believe in.
I won’t say which characters, yet, because I want people to connect to the characters without knowing their sexuality because it shouldn’t matter. I don’t want anybody basing their like/dislike of the characters on their sexuality. A person’s sexuality doesn’t dominate their entire being. I want those in doubt of that to read and be pleasantly surprised when they connect to the gay character that they probably would have initially disliked because of their sexual preference. And if you’re curious, you’ll just have to pick up the second book. :P
Michael Chulsky grew up in New Jersey and has been writing ever since his fourth grade teacher let him create a class newspaper to channel his creativity. He is the author of The Descending Darkness and currently lives with his fiancé. When not writing he enjoys browsing Tumblr, listening to music, and devouring every piece of cheesecake that falls into his line of sight.
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After going from demon hunter to babysitter, seventeen-year-old SHADOW has truly hit rock bottom. One week he’s slaughtering demons, and the next he has ten super-powered teenagers in his care. Shadow needs them, because without them he can’t hope to defeat his new foe. But he’s never dealt with other teenagers before. He never had a real childhood. He’s always been a loner. Hell, he’s tried the whole having-a-pet thing. It died.
Shadow’s mission: save the world and ensure his entire team survives the potential apocalypse. If MAEDARA, self-proclaimed fashionista and Queen of Evil, wasn’t trying to rule the world, it’d be cake. Now, not only does Shadow have to deal with teens more concerned with going to the mall than fighting evil, but also a villain who, in his opinion, makes Lady Gaga look like Mother Theresa.
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