Monday, June 29, 2015

When Is Dark Too Dark?

This past weekend I had a conversation with one of my beta readers about my most recent book Breathe. She told me she loved it but she hadn't been expecting the ending. which led to a discussion about the majority of my stories having at least somewhat happy endings. I suppose because it is the type of book I generally read it would be natural that I would opt to write books like that as well. I do have several stories that have much darker endings but I find I am scared to finish them or share the ones that are complete. 

It is such a different side to my writing that it feels out of place for me. I have attempted to read more outside my usual genres which I believe is contributing to my branching out in writing as well. While I am significantly behind I trust that that reading challenge I took on earlier this year is broadening my horizons with each and every page read. I am pushing hard to complete two additional stories as well as planning my next Nano novel. While the so-called "happy ending" can be seen in a way for both the current stories there is so much darkness that it seems more like the wrapping up of evil as opposed to happiness sunshine and flowers. 

Exposing the darker side of my imagination as well as tapping into the depths of my past can be surprisingly therapeutic yet wildly uncomfortable so I struggle with writing any of these stories. Horror may be a genre I enjoy reading along with thrillers and suspense but it never occurred to be to try writing any of them until I was hit with two very specific ideas for suspense thrillers, one of which will be my nano novel this November. The two based in part on my past of emotionally dark looking into an area of the conscious as well as subconscious that I have worked very hard for years to escape but now I find myself not only facing them but putting a spotlight on them.

My dreams tend to be a huge part of my inspiration. I have nightmares about the things I went through but they become part of what makes characters like Jasmine and Rachel more real. I travel paths of love, adventure and revenge which lead to books like Breathe, Welcome to Syn and Annora. Sometimes though I have found that these dreams must be analyzed and put through a filter before being committed to the files of the "To Be Written". For example I had a dream last night that disturbed me to my very core and while I think the storyline was captivating, the imagery was intense and the suspense of the characters was intriguing it was so dark I would never be able to let it out into the light of day. Annora is one that walks the line but I believe even with the tragedy of life that befalls numerous characters it is still acceptable. It got me wondering though, what level of darkness in a book is too dark?

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