Thursday, 6 March 2014

Growing darker and darker

Yeah, I finally cracked and signed up
for the Insecure Writer's Support Group.
There always seems to be a dark vein running through my stories. In some of them, it's rather blatant that all is not well with the world I've created.
The most obvious portrayal of this is in The Rogue King saga. It was never sunshine and rainbows. It couldn't be, if I'm honest, and I run the Main Characters through the gauntlet, I truly do.
But when I split the story, when I wrote the scenes I'd skirted for the sake of brevity ... something happened.

The story grew darker.

As I look at how it alters the tone of the books, I find myself wondering if I originally left off what happened in those unwritten scenes because I was afraid of writing them, of not doing them justice. In contrast, I've some sort of irrational fear that what I'm writing now is just gratuitous fluff.

I'd like to think I wasn't afraid to step off the fluffy path of good times, maybe hesitant in the beginning (I was twelve when I first wrote this, after all). And pulling these character's apart was always the plan and the assumption that they had it rough wasn't new.
But to drag one character through a decade of heartache, attempted suicide and depression, and then have another almost completely broken through... well, I won't get into what happens here, I'm not even certain how I reached that level. None of it was in the original plot. It's lead to some rewriting of certain scenes, especially in the final book where both characters get to heal a little.
The last question that plagues me relentlessly is: Is it realistic? To which "I hope so" is the only answer I have.

8 comments:

  1. I write pretty dark characters too, and not always on purpose. Maybe its just my natural personality. Fluffy happiness isn't always the best ending to a story.

    ......dhole

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    1. Oh yeah, but I like for there to be some happiness. At times it just seems I'm not only going from the pan to the fire, but to the furnace as well.
      And will those dark times mean I lose the people who liked him in the first book? Will they understand? I wish I knew that answer.

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  2. Maybe darker is the direction that was always intended but you didn't know it?

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  3. I hadn't really noticed how much I enjoy the darker stories until I joined a critique group. Sharing all the different styles, you get to know what each person likes. I was sick time before last, but right after the meeting, one girl pops up on Google Hangouts, asking me if I liked Marlie's story. I responded with a great big YES. She responded, "thought so. You like that creepy stuff."

    The dark stuff is usually more visceral and gut-clenching. I enjoy my happy stuff every once in a while, but the dark stuff hooks me.

    I'm excited to see the additions. And welcome to the group!

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    1. I don't mind the darker stuff, I'll even suffer a bit of creepiness, but only if it has even the promise of a HEA or HFN for the MCs. Downer endings, if not part of a series, lead to major headcanons. I had that happen to my favourite kiddies book series where they won and then all ambiguously died battling a new baddie (all in the same book. wtf?).

      If you want, I could send you The Shadow Prince (although the darker stuff happens in bk3), otherwise... it's not until next year. Hopefully.

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  4. I don't think I set out to write anything dark, but I've noticed too that some of my writing is getting darker. I have an entire book where innocent children are getting murdered, daily.

    Maybe it was supposed to get darker. I always like to think that the story writes itself through me and I'm just the pen. Maybe it wanted the story to be dark. :)

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    1. A daily murder of innocents? Dang.

      But still, I guess I should've expected it when my MC started to tell me the story of how he became who he was.

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