It's blog chain time again and this time Leah got things rolling with this question:
So blog chain, (and others) show me your dark side...What do you do to amp up the conflict? What pins do you stick in the little voodoo dolls? How do you torture your characters???
When I first read this question the thought of darkness brought this poem to mind:
I love this poem. And while I cannot find the words to explain exactly what the exact meaning of it is, I do know that when asked to find the darkness within myself this is what I think of.
What I don't think of is my own writing. As much as I love the image of writers torturing their characters and using them as little voodoo dolls - I don't know that I do this. At least not consciously.
When I'm writing I am usually in one of two modes:
1.) Analytical mode. This is when I look at the story as a whole more like a machine with lots of moving parts. I need action here, motivation there, and resolution over here. I'm just trying to figure out the best way to get the puzzle to fit together.
2.) In the story mode. I guess this one is sort of self-explanatory. When I am actually typing and letting the story flow sometimes things happen that I really hadn't planned on happening. As long as this doesn't pull the story completely off-course from where I need it to go, then I just let it happen. So, at this point when bad stuff happens I don't really feel like
I'm causing it, but rather it simply is what it is.
I don't think I'm explaining myself very well here, and maybe that's just because I'm not all that comfortable with the idea of darkness within myself. Ultimately, I like stories about redemption and the ability of the human spirit to rise above, and even if I do have a hidden heart of darkness, ultimately I'd like it to bring light.
Want to read a much better response to this interesting question? Yeah, so do I. Let's both head over to the blog before mine in the chain over at Mary Lindsey's Weblog. And after that why not pop over to Archetype Writing, because I know she is going to have some interesting thoughts on this question as well.