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melaniehoo
10-03-2008, 06:12 PM
I woke up this morning, scared half to death that the zombie in the other room was about to get me. I looked around the room and saw all the familiar shapes but I couldn't shake my nightmare. It was just so real...

I've had nightmares for as long as I can remember. Vivid, movie-quality, detailed dreams that stay with me long after I'm awake. Because of this I don't watch scary movies. I figure my imagination is active enough without having someone else plant these images in my mind.

Which got me thinking, do you think people are predisposed to write a certain genre?

I've always stayed away from horror, but my mind creates such realistic scenes that maybe I'm wasting my innate ability. This morning I woke up before the zombies showed their face - I'd equate it with the first half hour of a movie when you know something creepy is in the shadows but you don't yet know what it is - and I lay there trying to imagine the rest of the story. Me, a person who hates horror. Maybe I should try my hand at a different genre.

Thoughts?

dolores haze
10-03-2008, 07:31 PM
I think you should give it a try. Write a short section about the zombie in the next room. Let it sit for a bit. Get a few other opinions on it.

If you can get across the fear, recapture the terror, the horror, etc, then that is a definite skill. If you can really feel the horror and actually get it across...that would be some scary stuff!

If it just too scary for you, then you could always try desensitizing yourself. First, with horror lite. Then with the more scary stuff. I'm not a huge horror reader, but I've enjoyed a lot of stuff in the horror SYW forum.

melaniehoo
10-03-2008, 07:41 PM
That's a good idea. I have so many scenes from dreams rolling around in my head that putting them on paper is a good place to start, and something I've never done.

But beyond me, my bigger question is do you think people are predisposed to write a certain genre? Is it influenced by your life or do we seek it out?

quickWit
10-03-2008, 07:45 PM
I don't particularly think people are pre-disposed to a genre beyond saying they might gravitate toward writing the types of stories they like to read. After all, there's a world of difference between fantasizing/dreaming about something and writing about it well, right? As far as not writing horror for fear it might be disturbing to you, I say do just the opposite. Write about it. Explore that part of your mind that's trying to speak to you. You might be surprised at how twisted you really are. :D

The only way to really conquer your fear is to confront it head on. Plow into it, wrassle it down, and make it do what you want it to do. If nothing else, you'll be richer for having had the experience.

jannawrites
10-03-2008, 07:47 PM
VERY interesting question, hoo.

I agree that writing a few pieces out will let you know if you could do it on a larger level... and may help get your fears out in a therapeutic way.

I don't know. I think I'd guess it's not the genre we're predisposed to write, but rather the kinds of likes and passions inherent in our make-ups that go together toward defining our written preferences.

melaniehoo
10-03-2008, 07:50 PM
You might be surprised at how twisted you really are. :D

The only way to really conquer your fear is to confront it head on. Plow into it, wrassle it down, and make it do what you want it to do. If nothing else, you'll be richer for having had the experience.

Very good point. :) Maybe my journal will take on a while new twist.

Janna, you hit on what I was puzzling over this morning. I'm writing what I like to read, yet the stuff I avoid is in my subconscious. I suppose I should listen.

tehuti88
10-03-2008, 08:13 PM
Judging by the fear you show of horrific things, you might actually turn out to be a great writer of horror. Those who understand the true emotions behind things are often best equipped to write such stories.

Predisposed toward a genre...? Hm. I write in more than one genre but I definitely have always seemed predisposed toward fantasy! It's something that just comes naturally, and my brain seems more equipped to make things up out of nothing, to create entire worlds and strange beings to populate them. I always chalked this up to being very solitary and lonely, but who knows? That could be a predisposition in itself, and the genre just happens to complement it.

gypsyscarlett
10-03-2008, 09:50 PM
I woke up this morning, scared half to death that the zombie in the other room was about to get me. I looked around the room and saw all the familiar shapes but I couldn't shake my nightmare. It was just so real...

I've had nightmares for as long as I can remember. Vivid, movie-quality, detailed dreams that stay with me long after I'm awake. Because of this I don't watch scary movies. I figure my imagination is active enough without having someone else plant these images in my mind.

Which got me thinking, do you think people are predisposed to write a certain genre?

I've always stayed away from horror, but my mind creates such realistic scenes that maybe I'm wasting my innate ability. This morning I woke up before the zombies showed their face - I'd equate it with the first half hour of a movie when you know something creepy is in the shadows but you don't yet know what it is - and I lay there trying to imagine the rest of the story. Me, a person who hates horror. Maybe I should try my hand at a different genre.

Thoughts?

I think you should turn your fears into an advantage. Face them. Write it down. Go for it! :)

I always liked Shirley Jackson's quote, "I delight in what I fear".

jannawrites
10-04-2008, 12:34 AM
Sounds like you're definitely on to something here, hoo.

And it makes me wonder if Steven King is at all frightened by his own work. Anybody know?

HelloKiddo
10-04-2008, 09:36 AM
Yes, I think people are pre-disposed to certain types of literature. It almost sounds like a given to me that we woud be. Just because you have vivid scary visions doesn't mean you must write horror though. People with powerful imaginations and strong emotions can write a range of things. My own favorite writer, Emily Dickinson, had a rather terrifying imagination, but did not write what would be traditionally be called horror; if you read her, though, you'll see that this was a woman who, like yourself, saw a monster around every corner.

Me, I just finished a short story about zombie-like creatures ganging up on a young woman, but I don't think it was a horror story. Just because zombies and other monsters are often seen in horror does not mean they can't exist in stories outside that genre.



And it makes me wonder if Steven King is at all frightened by his own work. Anybody know?


Yes ma'am! After he started to write Pet Semetary he had to tuck it away for a while because the story unnerved him; it was based on his own child's near-death experience. If you want to hear the story, his bio is up on youtube.

tehuti88
10-04-2008, 05:16 PM
Yes, I think people are pre-disposed to certain types of literature. It almost sounds like a given to me that we woud be. Just because you have vivid scary visions doesn't mean you must write horror though. People with powerful imaginations and strong emotions can write a range of things. My own favorite writer, Emily Dickinson, had a rather terrifying imagination, but did not write what would be traditionally be called horror; if you read her, though, you'll see that this was a woman who, like yourself, saw a monster around every corner.

This is one of the big reasons why my writing is so psychologically/emotionally oriented. I feel emotions very strongly, maybe more so than some people (especially on the fear/anxiety/depression end), and it just makes it more natural to channel those emotions into characters. Since I spend all my time in such a hyperemotional state, it's to be expected that such an angle would be strong in my writing, whatever the genre.

Exir
10-04-2008, 05:33 PM
I seem to be a quite versatile, and not at all limited to one genre. In fact, flipping through my notebooks, I could find works of all genre in it. I've written mystery, fantasy, horror, mainstream, YA, literary, middle grade, magical realism, plus comedy (granted, some were much worse than others...). The only thing I haven't written (and probably would never write) is Romance.

Hmmm... Not only that, but my voice seems to be changing. I can identify many different voices that I have, depending on the style of writing that I'm using. I can switch from a conversational tone to a very grownup voice to a poetic literary voice, and so on...

And it seems none of my writing sounds like the way I talk.

Cranky
10-04-2008, 06:08 PM
I don't think you have anything to lose by trying a different genre, and everything to gain. No wasted words, right?

Personally, I think my inclination towards horror is a product of reading the stuff from a young age. It spoke to me in a way a lot of other literature didn't. It also helped to realize there are worse things in the world than what I was going through! :D

I have scary dreams quite often, but most of them don't translate well to dreams, and I am not a big fan of horror movies, though I watch them. They scare the crap out of me, and I'm guaranteed to have a nightmare for at least two nights running afterwards. *shrug*

Sorry for the rambling reply...too early on the weekend, I think. :D

Kryianna
10-05-2008, 05:43 AM
I find that my dreams are tied into my blood sugar overnight. If I have a high protein/carb snack (peanuts, milk, or cereal) before bed, I'll dream normal dreams. If I have a lot of sugar so that my blood sugar crashes during the night, I'll have horror or action-adventure dreams.

I don't like horror movies, but I do like action-adventure ones. Sometimes I intentionally crash overnight in the hopes that it'll give me some good ideas for future books. :)

JLCwrites
10-05-2008, 07:47 AM
Go for it. If you feel unnerved, only write it in the morning. You can work on something else at night. Maybe a romantic comedy? :)

Ugawa
10-05-2008, 09:23 PM
You should give it a try, but don't scare yourself too much :D

XX

Haggis
10-05-2008, 09:42 PM
Come over to the dark side, Hoo.

We're waiting for you. :e2teeth:

seun
10-06-2008, 04:35 PM
Come over to the dark side, Hoo.

We're waiting for you. :e2teeth:

If you don't come to us, we'll come to you.

We know where you live. ;)

Haggis
10-06-2008, 05:16 PM
If you don't come to us, we'll come to you.

We know where you live. ;)

We've been there before. Just outside your window. Late at night.

melaniehoo
10-06-2008, 05:58 PM
Come over to the dark side, Hoo.

We're waiting for you. :e2teeth:


If you don't come to us, we'll come to you.

We know where you live. ;)


We've been there before. Just outside your window. Late at night.

That's just mean! :D

I love the discussion here, there are some great comments. I do think it'd be good to challenge myself and try a different genre, I'm just hesitant to write horror. I've been thinking a lot about this over the weekend (a crashed modem will do that for you) and I think I'll try to step outside my comfort zone with NaNo.

btw, last night I had a scary dream that involved Leonardo (DiCaprio circa Titanic) as a swindler and scam artist. *shrugs*