WRITING, PUBLISHING, HORROR

The Horror Outside my Comfort Zone

02/02/2018

When it comes to books and films, I avoid anything scary. So, why would writing horror be a good thing for me to do?

I ‘watched’ The Woman in Black with my eyes closed.  I will never watch one of the greatest films ever made, The Exorcist (even writing the words gives me the heebie-jeebies). I won’t even venture into the horror section in a bookshop, lest I make eye contact with a scary front cover. 

Sci-fi is more my wireless kettle of fish, so why did I choose to write horror? Create50 takes the credit. I began working on a piece for their Singularity50 project. I feel at home writing about technology and AI; it’s what I do for a career, what I read about in my spare time, it’s my first choice in film genre. Then I saw Create50’s Twisted50 collection… Could I push myself outside my comfort zone? The thought terrified me.

Yet, that’s where Create50 allows one to take baby steps. I dared myself to read a few other submissions from other contributors. OK, I thought, maybe I could do this…

When the content is scarier than the experience of writing, something has clicked…

The idea behind ‘Ingrowing’ is based on my own squeamish thoughts, and from the feedback I received, based on others’ too. The story was all about pushing myself; my mind can be a twisted place, but could I transpose this to the page?

I cobbled together a few drafts, took a deep breath and clicked ‘Submit’, waiting tentatively for any feedback. My girlfriend had already read the first draft. ‘I feel a bit sick’, was her feedback. After hearing the synopsis, my Mum refused to read it. I knew I must be on the right lines.

After hearing the synopsis, my Mum refused to read it. I knew I must be on the right lines.

Then the feedback came. I was delighted to hear I’d hit the right chords. The consensus was that the ending lacked gravitas, so I delved deeper into the distorted depths of my imagination. That seemed to do the trick and the excellent community of Create50 began to give me the confidence that I could do this.

Having ‘Ingrowing’ selected for Twisted Vol. 2 is my first published fiction – an absolute honour and incredibly exciting. However, it’s more than that too. Create50 has given me the confidence to operate outside my comfort zone; it’s become a far less scary place.

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