Beastly and Beautiful: The Writing of Dark Things

I enjoy writing all sorts of things, but a lot of the stuff I come up with tends to go dark quickly. As a youth, I loved weird literature and swords and sorcery and anything I could get my hands on. I’d eat it up like  a starving child. And my house was the perfect environment for exploring the nooks and crannies of imagination. My family was a family of readers. My mom had her craft books and read much about the occult and space aliens and the like. My brothers collected old pulps and all the science fiction and fantasy works you could imagine. We all regularly got classic literature for Christmas and birthdays. And I loved going to the bookstore. It was the only place I really could spend hours in. And we lived just down the street from the local library where I would regularly go and lose myself in the stacks. And I admired the heroes who fought the good fight. And I engaged in the mysteries. And I enjoyed the ability of authors to evoke powerful emotions. It was something I wanted to do. I wanted to make people feel these things. And roleplaying was another passion. They melded somewhere along the way.

I like the truths that horror can deliver. It puts the world into black and white for a time. It allows true heroism to be exposed. It can show the depths of character. It allows people to take great risks. It transforms any of us in ways grand and subtle. It asks big questions. Heroes can shine most brightly in the darkest lights.  I want to magnify that brilliance. I want to draw people together, and let us scare each other and laugh and feel more than we thought possible. It’s so tricky to evoke horror, but when you do, it can be something beastly and beautiful and exciting.

I don’t write dark things because I have a soul full of darkness. I write dark things because I am full of hope and belief that humanity can overcome any challenge. Certainly, there are risks and there are dangers and the possibility of death and despair and infinite heartaches await within the darkness. And tentacles. And rituals. And moldering, old books lost within a sorcerer’s tomb. And that’s quite alright. Horror doesn’t lock itself into any one time or space. Shadows can be found wherever there is light.

Some equate horror with hopelessness. I disagree. If I didn’t, I couldn’t write the words or think the thoughts I do.

Until next time, I bid you, dear reader, adieu!



2 Notes on, Beastly and Beautiful: The Writing of Dark Things

  1. I’ve often been perplexed by my own tendency to take my own gaming material and (unpublished) fiction to really dark places, given that I also have a generally optimistic outlook on humanity. I suspect I’m subconsciously doing much the same. Thanks!

  2. Very cool. I’d agree with ya!

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