Friday, March 9, 2012

Why Do You Write That Stuff?

Had a conversation a while back with someone I haven't seen in years. She asked what I was doing now and I told her that I'd been doing a lot of writing, that I'd been published several times and that I had a new story in the works.

"Really?! That's so cool! What did you write?"

"A few scary stories."

The person in front of me looked as if she'd swallowed a whole lemon caked with shards of broken glass.

"Oh, eew. I don't like scary stuff. Why don't you write something serious?"

At this point, Evil Charlie is barking at the door and revving his Leatherface approved chainsaw. I calmed myself and continued.

"Horror is just as serious as anything else. In fact many people consider horror to be the perfect genre because in a well crafted horror tale, you can laugh, cry, fall in love and go through a plethora of powerful emotions other than just fear. Horror also serves as a safe way to see the dark sides of humanity and for us to learn lessons from the characters. It's also a good way to relieve stress. Basically, horror is the miracle drug to cure a shitty day."

I got a few odd looks.

Horror has, and always will be, my first choice. It allows me exorcise my personal demons so they are kept under control. At the same time I am also providing a (hopefully) entertaining romp for someone to enjoy. Something to make them laugh, cry, fall in love, get an adrenaline rush from a scary scene and mabe even make them think. It provides an escape from the rough day with an element of fantasy and guilty pleasures minus the guilt.

You wake up with a cold, stubb your toe against a sneaky chair, you boss yells at you for something that may, or may not, have been your fault and you get a flat tire on the way home.

You take a few minutes and read a short, scary story. Suddenly you feel a little better. You think, 'hey, maybe my day wasn't so bad after all. It could be worse. I could have a ravenous zombie werewolf with six heads trying to eat my ass!'

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