Sunday, July 13, 2014

Coming to Terms With My Own Fear

I wrote this entry a couple years ago and I'm very happy to say that so far I've survived the more scary aspects of my own writing....

I started reading THE EXORCIST by William Peter Blatty yesterday. I'm only about ten pages in and already facing that mortal fear that sometimes binds me. What is it about this book that impacts me, the reader, so paralytically?

So far I've enjoyed my research into the world of horror. I've read some of the most frightening novels I never imagined, 'SALEM'S LOT and PET SEMETARY by Stephen King to name two. Yes, they frightened me at the time and my day-mares and nightmares were duly impacted, but never have I had such an overwhelming sense of dread as I do with this novel. Maybe it's the whole persona of THE EXORCIST, the novel made into a movie that scared millions. Is it the hype that  freaks me out?

After reading about the knocking on Regan's ceiling yesterday, I went for a walk. I had to clear my head and gather my thoughts. Bottom line, I had to come to terms with my own fears. How else was I to continue delving into this outer realm of monsters, ghosts and things that frighten the most stoic of us? How was I going to be a horror writer if my own stories keep my heart on edge?

In turning to ON WRITING HORROR this morning, I found a chapter on addressing fear, especially fear of one's own writing. The fear that sneaks up from behind as the imagination creates an exquisitely terrifying scene. Inside we know our readers will love it...if we can survive the writing.

In his chapter, The Fear of Going There by Michael Marano, he discusses the fear we all have to some degree as our imaginations take over and our terrifying  antagonists hijack our story. As Mr. Marano states, "Freaking yourself out is an occupational hazard for a horror writer."

After reading this insightful chapter, the main underlying message I received was this, use my fear. Facing and embracing my fear is my opportunity to grow not just as a writer but also as a person. ....Hopefully I can remember this as I work on my own two horror stories this afternoon with dashes of THE EXORCIST here and there. I'll let you know. :-)

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