Just finished the second (and hopefully last) draft of a horror story I have to turn in tomorrow. Jesus Christ, that thing was hard to write. Mostly because it contained some personal details. Also because it scared the shit out of me.

I know that sounds crazy, to be scared by something you write yourself. Somehow, though, magically, stories take on a life of their own once committed to paper. It becomes an entity outside of you, with its own idea about who and what it is. The characters speak to you. The story carries you along, like a fiendish twist on automatic writing. Hard to explain. Disconcerting at times.

Particularly when the story is so connected to me. To be honest as a writer, I believe you must write things that affect you emotionally. In this case, for instance, in order to write something scary, I had to write something that would scare me. Whether it scares anyone else or not is another question. What I wrote is honest.

So much so that I literally couldn't work on this thing at night. With the LOML gone, children away for the weekend, I am rattling around this big old house alone, like a ghost of some long-dead inhabitant. I make little impact. Shadows lurk now, small noises are amplified and startle me. I had to wait until the daylight to give my imagination full reign on this one. Otherwise, I might have spent the night huddled under the covers, freaking out.

In any case, I believe it's done. Sending it through the wires to my tireless proofreaders, and then off to the editors. Fingers crossed. Now on to the next thing.

28 June 2008


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