There are times our stories go places we wish they wouldn’t. Notice that I didn’t say they’d go where they shouldn’t, for a story will often dictate its own terms, only that you wish it wouldn’t. That’s because it can sometimes create situations where the writing is much harder.
I believe I’ve said in the past that there are things I’m uncomfortable writing. In Salvation Day, when I had to write about a family murder to show a villain’s depravity, I barely made it all the way through. And in my latest work, there’s a great deal more sex than I’m used to writing.
Don’t get me wrong – I have as active a fantasy imagination as the next guy, but I’m not the one to usually verbalize it. I keep those kinds of things to myself. I don’t know if it was the way I was raised or if it’s just the way I’m made, but expressing those kinds of thoughts in a way that others would find appealing isn’t my style. However, in order for this latest book to have an impact, there are times I have to present it, and I have to present it in graphic detail. So I shudder as I write.
That’s not always a bad thing. As one does something more and more, one grows more comfortable with it. I’m sure there will come other times during my writing career that I’ll have to detail that which I’m uncomfortable with, and knowing how I handled it before will help me do it better next time. In the end, it’s all about painting a picture to entrance the audience, and a shaky picture caused by shuddering isn’t one a reader always wants to see.