Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Me vs What lives in the Dark




Most people leave their dangerous tools back at the shop, safely locked away.
What about a fiction writer? Say, someone who writes about nasty little Aliens, zombies, ghosts and ghouls?
Can you detach yourself from your work when night comes? Can you switch off your computer, go to bed in an empty old house and go like … “yeah, everything is hunky-dory, cute rainbows and gentle butterflies… monster and ghost are just business… this is real life… I can safely look into a mirror and my reflection won’t grin back at me while I scream in horror!”
If you write about… the end of the world, you tend to see signs of the forthcoming doom everywhere. If you write about UFOs, bingo – your night sky becomes an E.T. highway at rush hour. If you write about ghosts, even in a comical way, won’t they start walking out of walls and haunt your nights? The wind becomes a spine-chilling complaint. An old cracking painting turns into a gateway for specters to slide into our world and drag you back into their realm of terror.
The problem with ghosts, trust me, is not if you believe in them or not. No matter how irrational ghost fear seems during daylight, at night the argument for their existence sounds more like… ‘WHAT WAS THAT FREAKING NOISE DOWNSTAIRS!?”
Once, a teacher in creative writing told me to be careful when you write fiction. He said writers get haunted by their stories. When I told him mine will be about demons, exorcisms, and what’s undead in general, he told me “good luck with sleeping!” Now that I’m writing this post trying not to look away from my computer screen in case something white and dead is actually staring at me from the darkest corner of this creepy bedroom, I’m convinced he was right.

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