Ruminating On: Sharing Horrors

I’m not a huge fan of the menacing sociopath running the creative side of my brain. More often than not, he’s a devious entity, hell bent on giving me nightmares from which I cannot wake. This part of me wonders what it would be like to kick the walker out from under an old woman. He thinks it would be funny. I would never do such a thing, of course, but the thoughts are still there. So, I ask, “What the hell’s wrong with me?”

This blog comes in the wake of me finishing a new novella yesterday. The content hidden away inside these recently written pages is the most disturbing I’ve ever penned. Not “some” of the most disturbing, but “the most.” I made myself physically ill while writing it. My wife, seeing my affect had changed drastically, asked me on several occasions whether or not I was okay. I’d take my needed breaks, walk around a little, grab a drink, go sit on the porch, but nothing helped. So, I went back to writing. Now, some of you may think this is nothing more than an author trying to get people to become curious about his new work, but you’re wrong. I honestly want to know why I must carry this shit around with me. Can any of you tell me?

There are plenty of writers out there that share my burden, so I’m not saying I’m unique, I just want people to know, I don’t enjoy this. Every once in a while, I write for fun. This latest venture became fun, but only once I got out of the horrible happenings in the middle of the story. I’ve always wanted to blow some shit up (that’s the only spoiler you get), and this time, I got the chance. But I had to get there, first.

In Bay’s End, I tried to convey the message of loss and tragedy when concerning good people. With Dastardly Bastard, I worked to deliver the ideal that our memories can have control over us, but we should focus on the good, and let go of the bad. The Show (tentatively titled) revolves around bad people who do good deeds. To drive that point home, I put my morally-inept protagonists through the worst kind of hell to see how they would react, how they might survive. But can you truly promote a good message with vile content? I’m conflicted. I don’t know the answer to that.

To appreciate the light, one must have been in the dark. To believe that good exists, a person must know that true evil also resides in the world. So, where must you go when your characters are bad people who kill, and torture, and enjoy their profession? I think I found that place. Now, I want to forget it.

I write as an escape from the malevolent meanderings of a broken psyche. I don’t know where this shit comes from, but I wish I did. One of the beta readers for the new novella said that people would kill to be able to write as much as I do. They wouldn’t have to kill for it, though, because I’d gladly give it away. I scare myself sometimes. And this time around, I don’t think I’ll ever wake up from the nightmare. The happenings in Bay’s End were cathartic. Once I got them out of my head, they were gone. This new novella? Not so much. I’ve never written anything to completion with the thought that maybe, just this once, I shouldn’t show the world what resides in the nether reaches of my mind.

We’ll see. The novella goes to Red Adept Publishing tonight after a final read through. They will have the final say-so on whether or not the masses get their hands on The Show, as I’ve decided, if they don’t want it, I’m not going to publish it as an indie. So far, the beta readers have been torn. One thinks the content I’m speaking of is written well, told properly, not too gratuitously, while the other believes the scene might need to be toned down, that what happens may not be fit for “public consumption.” I’ve never felt the need to hold a readers hand while they read my work, but this time, I do.

If the story does come out, and you guys read it, only to think, “What was he going on about? This isn’t that bad,” I will say this: It scared the holy shit out of me… is still scaring me. Another thing, if it doesn’t bother you, I’d look inward and ask a different question. “What the hell is wrong with you?”

This is not Dastardly Bastard, there is no light at the end of the tunnel, no waking up from the nightmare. The Show could happen, does happen. That’s what scares me.

E.

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13 thoughts on “Ruminating On: Sharing Horrors

  1. Well..I’ve always been a firm believer that whatever ideas we have are given to us for a reason–and those reasons aren’t always for us to know. As for the dark muse, I feel with you. My Seir often taunts me, and he, too, has a very warped sense of humor. Especially when it comes to humans. The good news is, we don’t act on these deviant ponderings!
    At any rate, I am glad you got this story out of you. You are one HELL of a writer, Mr. Lorn, and every journey taken with you is an adventure. You may need to hold your reader’s hand with this new tale, and you may not. Either way, I have no doubt you will lead them back to where they started. Sure they may be sweaty from the horror of it all, or crying from the loss and tragedy you so often portray, but regardless, they will claim it was one wicked ride.
    Best of luck to you, always!

  2. Well, on the upside, If this is as bad as you say, and it does get published, you might just have something that will finally scare me. 😛 But I feel for you. I do not know what you go through, because most of my “work” comes out smelling of roses and rainbows, but all we can do is try to get it onto paper. 🙂

  3. Okay, well two things. First: you and JD Mader wrote about the same thing for today. I think this means you aren’t alone, my friend. The dark is where the action is, good and bad probably. Second: I keep thinking of American Psycho. I never read the book but I saw part of the movie (before I left the theatre – walked out – yep) it was completely without light. All pitch black. What’s the point in that?

    That’s it really, E. .oh, except to say….intriguing post, 😉

  4. Edward, I’m guessing like me, you’ve probably read a lot of horror over the years. Most of the time I get the giggles when I read horror. Stephen King might frighten the average reader, but I find most of his writing almost what I think of as “down home” literature, sort of like Twain or some of the Appalachian writers I grew up reading. When I read King, I feel like I’m coming home, sitting down with an old friend. Sometimes he breaks my heart, but I’ve never felt like he’s really grossed me out or made me ill.

    So, as a horror writer myself and with all my readings, I think I’m somewhat desensitized to a lot of horror literature. That being said, I have been truly creeped out a few times. Joe Lansdale has shook me up at least once, as has Clive Barker. As it’s been mentioned, American Psycho (the book, not so much the movie) left me chilled. The Nic Cage movie 8mm had me almost throwing up. The Saw movies? Hostel? No. Didn’t budge me. The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre comes close.

    But there’s probably a limited number of readers like myself. Still, there are readers willing to step into such darkness as you have mentioned. I’ve delved there myself in some of my short stories, ones I’ve only allowed published under a pen name, more for concern of freaking out my family and loved ones than worrying about readers.

    Let the readers decide. Whether Red Adept is interested or not, let the readers decide. If you’re uncomfortable with the piece, I suggest you go ahead and publish it under a pen name. Save that pen name. You never know when you’ll need it again.

    Also, remember this, as writers, if we remain in our “safe” zone too often and too long, we can lose our edge. Great literature and great writers are not created by remaining safe.

    Just my opinion. Without seeing the work, I’d still suggest publishing it one way or another. I’m going to take a wild guess that Red Adept will be interested, too.

    1. Ty, great advice, and normally I’d take it, but with this story (for reasons I can’t state publicly) a pen name isn’t possible. IM me on Facebook if you would like an explanation.

      Thanks for stopping by 😉

      E.

  5. Hi E. I can’t begin to imagine what subject matter your new book has taken. However dark it’s content I’m sure it will be written with the skill and emotion that is your gift. Some things are difficult to read, I struggle with horror more and more these days. In fact I have become quite a wimp about it. I will however read your book if and when it is published as I know it will be worth the ride. Good luck to you with it E. All the very best. This is kind of a goodbye to you too as it happens as I have had to leave face book due to someone posting untrue comments about me on my family’s status. I will look out for your Ruminating On though and wish you every success with your book. – Audrey

    1. You better not run away with your tail between your legs. That’s what the block/unfriend function is for. If nothing else, just start up a Facebook account with a different name. I can’t do without my new friend. Seriously, Audrey, get rid of that quit.

      I’m more blatant terms… Fuck’em.

      E.

  6. I find it fascinating you feel the stories you get as being thoughts within your own mind. When a story comes to me, I feel as if it comes from outside. I’m shocked at the content that comes to me, and wonder what it is that makes me a conduit for darkness, but I don’t ever feel the story the same way I feel my thoughts.

    I bet I’m not making any sense. Sorry about that. I can’t explain it very well, but I feel strange taking credit for my stories because although I do physically write them, edit them, produce them… I don’t think them up. They *arrive.* In a jumbled mess, and sometimes mixed up with other stories, but I don’t generate them. Now I’m just repeating the same rambling mess.

    I’ll stop.

    And congratulate you on finishing another work & submitting to Red Adept Publishing!

    -aniko

    1. We differ only slightly, Aniko. My “ideas” come from the outside world, but my characters reside within. I take happenings, rumored or true, and bend them to my character’s will. I am a firm believer that the story is already there, that I must only uncover it.

      And, by the way, you make perfect sense. I’m sure the other authors that read this blog understand you as well, even if they don’t work the same way you do.

      E.

      1. Did you just change your blog wallpaper, or did I somehow not see the totally scary clown-corpse picture?! Too scary! *looks about nervously, clears throat* Glad you understand what I was trying to say. Non-writers look at me like I’m a loon when I try and explain.

        -aniko

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