To break with the stagnant, boring ritual Writing Wednesdays have become, today’s entry is mostly in the form of a question.
Why do good people write bad things?
I don’t mean, writing badly, although I’m sure that happens as well. I mean, why do we explore the deepest reaches of nasty human (and monstrous) behaviour?
I’m a nice girl, right? I’m cheerful and friendly and I would never deliberately hurt anyone. Why then do I feel the need to write horror stories? Why do I enjoy exploring the dark side so much?
In some way I think I’m expressing the darker side of my personality by writing (or indeed, roleplaying) nasty characters, or terrible things happening to good, ordinary people. Debbie suggested (jokingly, I’m sure) that I’m actually a serial killer inside my head and this is the way I let it out. Rather than actually going out and killing people. I think it goes deeper than that though, something to do with monsters being the mirror of human nature.
Amphigori once suggested that it’s easy to write horror when you are in a good place, emotionally, whereas if you are depressed or otherwise emotionally turbulent you want to write nice, cheerful things. Like you want to write about what you aren’t personally experiencing.
I also think it has to do with a certain yearning to ‘try out’ things in a safe way. I don’t mean murder here, but the negative emotions that may not want to express in real life. In Rain I had fun stretching the limits of her relationship with her best friend, having them tell each other nasty truths and really hurtful things. I would never do this kind of thing in real life, but in the book I got to write all kinds of horrible things and then eventually, have them make up and it be alright. It’s cathartic, I guess. You get to feel the emotions and then wrap it up, nicely or otherwise, depending on the story.
I’d be interested to hear your theories on this. Please, go mad with commenting.