I am 22 pages into ‘Order For Burning’ and, depending on how work goes tomorrow, I may get another short blast in once I get home. I am rapidly approaching the first torture sequence where Janet Miller ‘confesses’ whilst giving the names of the other women who ended up meeting their demise on The Whitesands. When I sat with Kathleen and John of Mostly Ghostly a few weeks ago and said I wanted these sequences to be full on and brutal but also to be used sparingly. I personally have no regard for movies such as Saw and Hostel in which the horror comes from nigh on constant bloodshed.
I wish to make no bones about the fact that these were very brutal times and violence seemed to be a regular method when the Church had somebody they considered satanic in their flock. I’ve purposely made it so the character who is the torturer is new to this therefore giving ample opportunity to explain the process. Coming from a guy who always used to write comedy I’m finding this something of a departure. There’s no way around it and no way out, these scenes should shock.
I was also looking for a way of showing the contrast between these horrendous acts and the religious beliefs they sprang from. Whilst playing around with a few scenes I think I’ve cracked it. After this sequence of torture our main witchfinder, Jack, walks back to the farmhouse and cleanses his hands of blood before saying grace over the meal they eat.
Washing his hands of the whole affair, in the most literal fashion.