Monday, November 2, 2009

Thoughts During Writing - How It All Comes Together

Part Two for those reading... This is how "Thrilled - A Halloween Story" came together! If you missed part one, well, go back. Or read the story.

As I discussed in the first part of this break down, I didn't know how part two was going to go. I ended part one and started typing.

Part Two

Amazing how the creative mind works, isn't it?

I looked at the song lyrics.

You hear the door slam and realize there's nowhere left to run

Initially I thought the door slamming would be the crypt door slamming. She would be hearing the creatures shuffling around outside.

But that didn't answer what had happened to her. Had the creature grabbed her? Carried her away? What happened?

It couldn't be the crypt door, I decided. Had to be the apartment door building. (Btw, it's incredibly weird to think about this now. As I'm writing, all of this happens in split second thoughts.)

I wanted to use a glass inset on the door, because I wanted her, and therefore, the reader, to have a chance to see the creature up close. To really study it. Plus, it's such a cool effect when monsters smash through glass. You're never safe when you think you are.

At the time, I hadn't planned on the creature's flesh being so... malleable. In the end I kind of liked it, because she got to see what the creature went through to save her, but at the time, I just thought, "Well, it's dead... Its flesh probably isn't really firm. Plus it's being eaten from the inside." Gross.

Oh, and her tumble down the stairs?


It started out like this:

She tumbled down the stairs, searing pain coursing through her body as she lay on her stomach, panting for breath.

That, of course, doesn't get the right effect across at all, does it? I wanted to feel each hit and smack and crack as she went down, to explain why she didn't move and resigned herself to just lay there when the creature came up on her. So that was how it turned out like this:

Her right heel caught on one of the cheaply carpeted stairs and desperately she reached for the banister, but it crumbled to rot in her hand and down she went, cracking her chin on the hard wooden step before she went tumbling back down the stairs, her head, wrists, fingers, legs, hips, all finding the edges of the stairs, the hard plaster walls, the cheap banister bars that creaked and groaned and threatened to drop her to the floor below before she finally came to rest at the mid-landing on her stomach, her body burning with agony. Blackness covered her vision, dotted with dulled flashes of colors.

And to build the anticipation? I didn't want the monster to run. It's a half-dead creature. It can't run. It knows it's going to catch whatever it's after. So it moves. Slowly.

And then back to the song, of course. Did you spot the parallels? (Italic is the story; bold is the song lyric!)

A hand, cold and damp, like slimy mildew, slid around her ankle.
You feel the cold hand and wonder if you'll ever see the sun

She closed her eyes and slumped her shoulders, resigning herself to the fate that awaited her.
You close your eyes and hope that this is just imagination, girl!

This is longer than I imagined it would be, since it's such a short part, so I'll cut it off here and conclude tomorrow (or even later today, you never know!) with part three! Hope you enjoyed the creative process!