Monday, August 25, 2008

The Dark Side

The Dark Side of Writing will grab hold of you on the night you sit alone contemplating all there is to feed off of as you wriggle in fear and write...the as the dark side of creativity comes alive.

It will happen writers. You’ll be sitting there tapping on the keys when a dark cloud passes over your window. Falling from the cloud are the spirits from the past, drifting through the air like sheets of silk.They come tiptoeing across the field to peek into your window and before you know it, you find, you’re writing turns dark.

Well it won’t exactly happen like that but you will be writing a story in happy mode, and suddenly feel the pull of the dark side wanting to come out. You may want to write about vulgar adultery, or bloody murder, or a bank-robbing bandit. All of which you’ve never experienced before, but are willing to compromise for your readers sake.

We as writers often find ourselves writing what we know and oftentimes we need to step out of the box and write about things we would never in a million years do or say or try. Through our writing we can become the hero and the antagonist, the child or the dog. We’re writers so we can truly go places we’ve never gone before.

Writing through pure eyes is good but what kind of antagonist will you have? Have you ever seen a good bad guy? Sometimes the bad guy turns out to be a good guy in the end but those stories usually wind up boring and on the back of bookshelves or in some attic or worse yet in the dank basement being used to sop up moisture.

Haven’t you ever wanted to climb into a schizophrenic’s head, or an unstable killer on the loose? Have you ever dreamed of the ghosts that haunt those old Victorian mansions, Irish Castles?
Whatever the case may be, don’t be afraid to write about the bad things, the dark abyss that lingers in this world. Being a writer gives you the free blank page to bring some of the scariest, creepiest and soulless vile beings into existence.

I know of many writers that are afraid of crossing those boundaries of the different realms. They feel that those dark forces will lay claim to their soul or something. Don’t be afraid. Fear is the dark force that wants to grip you. If you don’t fear, you’ll be surprised at what comes out of your non-wicked mind.

Don’t tell me as a kid that you didn’t fantasize about space aliens, ghosts, space travel, or haunted houses. The bogeyman was a part of every child’s growing up phase. But as adult writers we can bring the bogeyman back to life.

Were you afraid of the dark? Maybe you feared walking alone in a park past midnight. Did you ever think these could be the seeds of a story brewing? Make mincemeat of all your fears through writing. Make Stephen King shiver in his boots! Watch Dean Koontz sleep with his light on at night!

Give the horror genre something to be proud of. Turn all your white light romantic fan fiction into the DARK. Let your inner evil loose on the writing world, just to see what you come up with.

Little writing exercises can help in this area. Your antagonist will thank you for it. *wink*wink*

Monday Funday Word day!
obfuscation - ob·fus·cate --
–verb (used with object), -cat·ed, -cat·ing. confuse, bewilder or stupefy make obscure or unclear: darken

turpitude - tur·pi·tude

1.vile, shameful, or base character; depravity
2.a vile or depraved act


Anonymous said...

You're an inspiration, Joni! =D
This post is inspiring. I should read you and have a blank document ready. I liked the idea of the writing exercise. What about a writing exercise day? I tell you, you're cooking something great.

-Susan *silently stepping into Joni's kitchen, smelling fresh strawberry pie*

June said...

Great advice, Joni! I love exploring the dark side as it's so unlike who I am (really!)...

Sometimes our characters require us to explore places we would not go otherwise.

Love the new words -- keep it up!

Take care,