Writing a story is like cutting off a limb.
Okay, so perhaps we’re not talking an arm or a leg. Maybe a smaller appendage, like a finger or an ear – perhaps Van Gogh really was on to something… The point I’m trying to make is this, writing is a personal sacrifice. It’s about creating something from a very internal place and externalising it in a way that will forever be immortalised as a part of the author. I once co-wrote a comedic piece that told the story of a circus performer whose talent came in the form of emitting poisonous bubbles that when popped in front of an unwilling suspect, gave him total control of their being. Needless to say, the story evolved into a trash-fest of pointless nudity, bodily disfigurement and other taboo subjects that we won’t list here. I sometimes wonder what someone would think of me if they ever read it. What if I died a few moments after posting that piece? I would forever be the author who expelled the most meaningless tirade of trash. Luckily, that was never the case and the story (which ran at a measly two pages) exists only as a single hard-copy that has been locked in a box that is set to self destruct when my heart stops beating – you have to be cautious with these kinda things.
But seriously, what is the role of the writer? What it the point? For me, it serves a number of different purposes. First and foremost – it’s an outlet. When the day can get a little mundane or I find that there is a particular thought or idea floating around my mind, the best thing I can do is to just write it out. No one has to read it and hell, if it’s terrible, I’d just introduce the darned thing to a lit match and be done with.
Secondly, I like to entertain. Now, I may not be the first to grab a microphone and burst into a rendition of ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ or perform a popular Shakespearean soliloquy on cue. I will however, scribble down a little plot that might keep you guessing until the end or hopefully induce one or two chills down your spine. I think that’s kinda fun.
My last reason is this, and perhaps this is one that I take most for granted and didn’t realise its potential until recently. Writing offers up new perspectives. I know, that’s pretty obvious right? You can invite the reader to a place they may never have thought of, you can make them think things they never thought possible, and with this empathic approach in mind, we might even be able to open up one’s mind or perhaps even change an aspect of an individual’s life. I know that’s somewhat grandiose and I wish my writing could be at least a little bit influential like that but I’m not sure that horror can offer up such possibilities. Or can it? This was the idea that came to me earlier this week. What if we could tell a horror story that could have that sort of effect? How would it unfold? What would be the subject matter? These are the questions I’m now formulating and will put forward for Project Number Four. I have still to announce the third project and I promise that it’s coming but I just wanted to share with you some of the ideas that were brewing in my mind recently and how these could potentially influence the future of my work. But until then, I advise you to avoid any stories involving toxic-bubble-emitting circus performers.