Today, I have the pleasure of hosting Meredith Bond, author of Magic In The Storm, on Mind Reader. Keep reading to find out why she can't write Dark Fiction.
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Hi, everybody. My name is Merry and I can’t write dark. (hangs head in shame) I tried! I tried really hard! (sniff) I tried a number of times, in different ways. (sniff) But it just wasn’t scary. Suspenseful. Creepy in any way. (sniff) I don’t know what to do! I don’t know what I’m doing wrong! (does anyone have a tissue or a hanky I could borrow? Sniff)
A bunch of my friends are getting together to (self) publish an anthology just before Halloween. We all decided that it would be really cool for all to the stories to be horror and paranormal stories. And I thought, hell! I can write a scary story. I even had a story that I’d already written that I could adapt. It’s about Lilith, you know, Adam’s first wife. She and Adam were created by God from the dust of the earth. She knew they were equals, but Adam was a chauvinist jerk and tried to dominate her. She wouldn’t stand for it and left. Yup, she just walked out of the Garden of Eden . She took up with Samael, the demon, and… well, hell, I’m not going to tell you the whole story and give it all away. (good try, you almost got me, but I’m not that dumb! You’ll have to buy the anthology to find out – it comes out October 17th).
Anyway… I thought, you know, demons! That’s dark. They’re scary, right? Killing, maiming, turning all red and stuff. Dark, right? Ha! Not the way I wrote it. My husband read my story after I had written it, laughed at parts and at the end said, “That’s a really sweet story, Mer, but wasn’t it supposed to be dark? Oh, and you’ve got to fix…” and then he went on to tell me everything that was wrong with my writing. Thanks.
Sweet?! No! It was supposed to be dark! I’ve got demons and a woman who kills babies! What’s sweet about that? Well, yeah, ok, Lilith and Samael fall in love (I’m a romance writer!) and she think she’s killing a demon when she kills an innocent baby. And it does have a happy-ish ending (see previous comment) But, really, sweet?
So, I went back and put in a scene where Lilith finds a man cleaved nearly in two. And I strew other body parts around and even mixed them up with animal parts (indiscriminate killers who like to sort the parts – legs in one pile, arms in another, heads in a third, regardless of what kind of animal they came from – too OCD?). And I changed the ending so that there’s a hint of possible menace to come.
My daughter read it (16 years old, reads dark YA paranormal all the time, loves it) and just looked at me expectantly when she got to the end, like, huh? Is this supposed to be dark? She told me some things to work on. I did them. She says it’s better now. Not really dark, but not as sweet, at least.
I tried! I really, really tried. (head drops once again in shame) Can somebody help me? I’m a romance writer. I like romance. I like history. I like funny. I don’t know dark. Dark creeps me out. It makes me scared to go to sleep at night. It makes me jump at shadows. I tried. (sniff)