Thursday, January 7, 2010

Crawling in the dark

I write dark. I mean that I’ve written about nuclear winter, before reading The Road, and I’ve written fiction weaving topics like genocide, slavery/trafficking, violence, as well as the psychological weapons and tools of those events into my work. I’ve tried to be honest in the telling, and have never considered them gratuitous, as to me they are an integral part of the story.

But I sometimes wonder about the topics I’ve chosen to explore in my writing and storytelling. Does what you write reflect you as a person/the inner you? How much of your personality bleeds through to the written word? Does that exchange flow both ways? How much of you informs your stories?


  1. Hello! and gotcha! :-)
    I'm glad to have been pointed this way by the "usual suspect" (thanks!!) and to have this opportunity for many interesting discussions.
    This post being an example...
    I don't think that your choice of darkness, and dark topics, is a reflection of your soul: I know you only "virtually" and yet you don't strike me as a "creature of darkness".
    Could it be that those topics are your way of dealing with a human being's inner fears - our nightmares, so to speak: giving them form on paper might be your way to exorcise them.
    Not a two-way flow, but a counterspell...

  2. Hey! And welcome; I’m glad you’re here.

    I think you’re right, that’s definitely part of it. I am really interested in peoples’ stories of triumph in the face of the most horrific circumstances. People persevere and that fascinates me. How do survivors pick up and go on, what is the cost of that survival, and what does that look like given form in the written word.

    Who tells that story?

    It is the stuff of deepest nightmares, and yes, maybe there is an element of ‘there but for the grace of God go I.’

    I can be very grateful that.

  3. I remember a writing instructor saying that the richest writing comes from dealing with some of your darkest fears. Given the subjects you deal with as part of your exploration of history and social studies, it seems a sort of natural fit that you would want to examine those topics further.

    By the way, I like the way the blog is progressing.

  4. Muchas gracias. You are a big part of that.

    And that’s a great way of looking at it, I think. Dealing with the darkness does give one some sense and degree of control.

    I’d like to think that it’s just a natural outgrowth of my other interests and explorations rather than some aberration.

  5. "I’d like to think that it’s just a natural outgrowth of my other interests and explorations rather than some aberration."

    ......I think that it is. you deal with these themes in real life terms, through the study of history, for example, then work them out in writing. Which is what it's all about.

  6. My writing reflects me in a lot of ways, but it only captures bits and pieces. In my YA stuff, it's more about providing a fun story. In my more literary stuff, I think I show more of who I am.

  7. I think you're right that the type of writing you're doing, genre and tone and voice and theme and the story you're telling all reflect in some way or measure part of yourself.

    As does, I think, the length of the story you're telling. I've written some lighter stuff as well as some other types of things, but it's always been adult or literary and I've never tackled YA.

    I'm impressed with your range of interests. :)