Digging Deeper

I was talking with several friends about how we write stories. Specifically, how we write horror if that’s our preferred genre. I was asking how people went dark, if they were the type like me that preferred horror with hope. The answers varied. Next thing you know, we agreed to start a weekly Cozy Horror club, and that will probably be another blog post. That has been a success thus far and I have greatly enjoyed hearing everyone’s perspectives.

We talked about what scared us. Sometimes phobias worked. Other times, they don’t. Being controlled by a phobia can make a person sad. How do we deal with that terror?

Other things that scare us aren’t phobias necessarily. They are what we leave behind when time passes. Namely, memories of times that we have forgotten due to our brains being very occupied. And so we have to dig deeper to find that mortal terror, or perhaps that anxiety.

What Does It Mean To Dig Deeper?

it means to look back at your memories and plumb them, to determine what memories are deemed worthy of transforming into fiction. for some of us, we can’t do that because those memories are too raw, and no amount of dragons or unicorns will make them better. Others allow for catharsis.

I have written about protagonists with dead or absent fathers. The reason is that my father died in 2001, when I was ten. That experience filled me with a lot of anger and grief, at the sense of injustice and hurt. As a result, my characters have also felt that hurt, the loss sometimes weighing down on them and affecting their actions.

There are other things that I may not want to discuss, like how for some reason peacocks like crossing the road at the exact time you are commuting. Thus, you have to slow down to avoid turning a beautiful bird into roadkill. I remember one peacock darted across the road as I was going slowly, necessitating me to hit the brakes and to wonder why this one was an adrenaline junkie. Still haven’t found a story for that one, but a person can hope if I find a reason.

We have to decide when we dig too deep, and the writing no longer becomes fun. Sometimes writing has to be work when it is our job. At the same time, when we lose the fun, then we labor over what used to be love. We don’t have a choice for paid stuff, but for experiments and doing writing in our free time? It’s best to know our limits.