Writing the Bad Man

Bark from inside the 1000 year old Yew tree. The great yew tree in St Nicholas' churchyard, Brockenhurst, New Forest.

I was going to write about something totally different this week but shelved that idea for another day. Today, I’m stuck on one of my characters. I have never, ever considered myself a horror writer because it’s just not my bag. However, I now need to write about a bad man.

He scares me. I don’t feel brave enough to look him in the eyes but I need to write him. I just don’t know where to begin. The notes I’ve taken so far are falling short and I’m doing this, vile, man an injustice by not writing the truth of him. He is bad news for my protagonist and I wonder if I’m subconsciously protecting her?

I need a sleepless night. I seem to find it easier to dump dark thoughts in the middle of the night using automatic writing. It’s not happened for a while. Below are the notes (that I can share) of my last sleepless night when the story was churning around in my head.
_ _ _

After a long hiatus from my story – it’s been two months since I last wrote. Does that sound like I’m in a confessional? I could say some prayers but I think I should just get on with writing. 

Two months away is a very long time and I have felt terrible throughout. I still can’t sleep. My health has been rubbish and I’ve been reading a very unfulfilling book. 

But now my computer is up and out, ready to take my words – and not inane searches for Star Wars costumes for the kids and party bag fillers etc. The bad book is finished (I’ll do a review at some point) and I’m ready to get fit again.

I write my darkest stuff in the dark
Just me, I, in my zone
2 or 3 am
Dark creatures lurk all around me
Writhing and snarling at each other
The light of my laptop is my forcefield
Beasts
Nightmarish creatures waiting 4 the right moment to fulfill their gruesome potential on my page
They crowd around me whispering in my ear, guiding my hand
Releasing their horror
Realising my story
I write as it comes ’till tears sting my eyes
I blink away finding clarity for a moment
My face is covered but there are more words
I’m not finished yet
A bit more, a final touch
Round off the end
I need a tissue
Nose blown
Sighs of relief and exhaustion
I am purged
My computer and I sleep.

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4 thoughts on “Writing the Bad Man

  1. Can you find an image of this person? Either in a magazine, newspaper, or even in real life? Sometimes I pass people and think ‘yes! That’s my character!’ Then somehow it’s easier to work in a personality. Go to London and ride up and down the tube escalators for an hour to get some inspiration!

  2. Thanks Lucy. The only image I can find which ‘fits’ for me is the image at the top of the post – 1000 year old yew tree in Brockenhurst, New Forest. So, not a person. I do like your idea of hanging out in London… I think I’d fit right in!

  3. Pingback: You are what you write | ihijinx

  4. Pingback: My vacation with the bad man | ihijinx

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