Monday, January 16, 2012

Afraid of the Dark

Way back before NaNo started, one of my real-life-writing-buddies was worrying that she might get stuck partway through.

So I offered up a challenge.

If she should get stuck, then both of us would write a short story (or something longer) beginning with the line, 'I never understood why some people are afraid of the dark.'

Unlike me, she successfully completed her 50,000+ word NaNo goal, so there was no need for her to play out this challenge. I, of course, was only shooting for a half-NaNo.

But that darn sentence has been rattling around in the back of my head for months...

So I've started something new... something weird, something closer to a fairytale than I've ever before written. I need to pull out some of my... dozens? of fairytale/folklore/mythology books because I know there's a certain flavour in this story that I need to draw out, and I'm not quite yet sure what it is... pepper? basil? cardamom? anise? Maybe it's the sharp, iron sting of fresh blood?

No, I'm not writing about vampires

Of course, like always, I don't know much of what's going on or what will happen. What I can tell you is that there's no desert-setting this time. It takes place far north where the sun disappears for half the year, so there'll be snow, wolves, bears and icy-sea-critters. There's probably going to be some form of transformative magic, 'Darkness' itself might be a character, and there will be a thinly-veiled reference to Schrodinger's Cat. Something like this will make an appearance, perhaps not in terms of actual form, but concept, as this video inspired a few intriguing ideas. I've also been thinking about Miyazaki's animated film, 'Princess Mononoke' quite a bit. I should re-watch that soon.

Are you curious?

Here's my first page, well, just over a first page in terms of word-count I suppose (first-draft material of course). I'm pretty sure a lot of it will change during revisions, depending on how the whole 'darkness' thing turns out. I'm not 100% satisfied with the voice either. In this first scene, I think a couple lines are too poetic for the character. I think they need to be straight-forward and not overly descriptive. That is what feels right for this character.


  1. I love where you went with that line! And so creepy, yet delightful because I want more!

  2. @ prerna pickett

    Thanks :) This week I'll post another couple excerpts (Wed & Fri) from this new story, so feel free to comment on anything that feels wrong :)

    I think this really is the first true fairytale I've written. I call "Simon's Oath" a semi-fairytale because it never had any actual magic in it, it was simply a fantastical world, and I didn't know of a better way to describe it :)

  3. .... but you spelled colour wrong.

    Or is that a subtle hint about the nature of the gods and/or monsters? :)

    Also, in all seriousness, we should all do something like that for nano next year, re: one starting line.

  4. @ ladonna

    thanks :)

    @ alcar

    hahahaha, good catch ;) Yup, should change that to the Canadian spelling, eh?


Type me out a line of Shakespeare or a line of nonsense. Dumb-blonde-jokes & Irish jokes will make me laugh myself silly :)