Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Monsters In My Head

When I think about the scariest monsters, I don't think about something from Alien or some other horror flick. I think of Jack from The Shining. What makes him scarier than any other unstoppable alien/mutated horror, is that he is human. Humans have an amazing capacity for committing horrifying acts. Think about people like Hitler, Dahmer, even Hannibal Lector. What is more horrific than those boogymen? Think about the mythos surround people like Vlad the Impaler and Rasputin? Hundreds of years after their death and we are still talking about them. Hell, our whole mythos on Vampires was practically spawned from Vlad. Of course, the scariest of them don't look scary (Jeffrey Dahmer). They look like normal people. People you would never think of being demented or evil.

So, why am I talking all this gloom and doom? Well, these are the monsters I think of. Not the monster hiding under the bed, he's a softy compared to the monsters in my head.
Anyway, all of this build up is to introduce you to my new WIP, Hate Jacket. I approached this one differently than my first WIP, Stone of Unity. Their different stories. SoU is a Fantasy story with Fantasy tropes. The focus is on the world and the struggle. Characters are important, but they are struggling against an archetypal evil enemy. However, HJ is contemporary fiction. It's about real events with real people who have real feelings. The enemy they face is themselves.

So, when I approached the story, I had to create real, feeling, believable characters. Instead of world building, I did character building. Julius (my main character) was the first. I wrote up about a page in my notebook on him. One of the things I did was make sure that every character has a secret. People have secrets, so should they. Some of the secrets are big, some are not so big. Big or small, these secrets affect how the characters act towards each other.

Anyway, the scariest character was Julius' father. I'm not going into details (because I'm still writing the story), but he's definitely a dark person and does some very scary things. However, I do need to find something good to put in him (nobody is 100% evil). One of the people I follow on Twitter said that she puts good things into bad characters and bad things into good characters to make them more realistic. Started doing that with the secrets, but need to do that for all my characters. It'll be interesting and fun, I think.

Another friend asked me if this story was my personal demons or purely fictional. I will go on record right now and say fictional, however, I have a lot of source material from which to draw. The main character is not me, his father is not my father, the characters in the story in no way represent real people that I know. If you ask any author, this is the case. So, if Hate Jacket ever gets out into the world, you heard it here first.

As a teaser, here is an early concept scene that I posted early on in my blog writing. The story was called "Rage" back then and I wasn't ready to tackle it. Now, I am. Characters have different names, but this scene will probably end up in HJ somewhere.

What monsters scare you?

'Till next time.


  1. Kudos to you for taking on a real story...(fiction yes, but real nonetheless)and the emotions that go along with it. In some ways, these types of things are easier to write because we can draw from our "wealth" of experience instead of just our imagination, but that is also exactly what makes it a more challenging story to create. I think it makes someone stronger, both as a writer and as a person. I'm glad you are writing this particular one!

    1. Thanks! It isn't easy, but I'm definitely up for the challenge. :D

  2. "Humans have an amazing capacity for committing horrifying acts" - and an equally amazing ability to justify those aforementioned horrifying acts. I'd have trouble sleeping while writing about those kinds of monsters.

    I love the title it made me curious right off but knowing this is the one we talked about makes it even more interesting. Read through the clip from Rage - nice work.

    Write well and Remember balance this with some good in real life for sanity's sake :)


    1. Yes, definitely. Balance is important. Especially since I'm pulling from a dark place. In the story I'm also needing to balance things. Don't want people to melt their brains. :D

      The hardest part about writing this story is there is a part of me that wants to hide from the intensity of the character's emotions. I had one beta tell me that one of the more intense chapters needed more. She was right, but wow was it hard.

      It actually might be affecting my sleep a little. Last night I had some really stressful dreams about taking classes. The MC in my story is struggling in school (go figure). So maybe there is something there. o_0

  3. One of my favorite quotes (that I have on my office wall, amid a ton of other quotes) is: "Monsters don't sleep under your bed. They sleep in your head." The book is fantastic, and I'm really proud of you for writing something so personal and real. I'm excited to read more. In fact, I just got your email, so I'll be diving into that this evening.

    1. Thanks! :D I'm really excited by all the feedback I've been getting. :D