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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Shying Away

Had one of those conversations with a co-worker that results in the surprised query, "There's blood in your book? You write bloody stuff?"

Yeah. Yeah I do. Love doing it, in fact, as I've mentioned before.

What I seem to have trouble writing is torture. Not deliberate torture scenes. I've never tried writing one of those and I don't see me doing so in the near (or distant) future.

TT: I guess there is that scene in the furnace room of Manarot in Star of Justice but that wasn't torture for torture's sake, so I'm not counting it.

No, I'm talking about the sort of heartless experimentation on living things that ultimately qualifies as torture. Think the Alchemist's laboratory in The Dark Crystal. It bothers me. I don't mind outright killing in battle. I don't mind dismemberment that results in swift death. What I seem to mind is dismemberment that doesn't result in death.

Not sure why I draw this distinction. Perhaps it's my middle-American upbringing. I'm not used to interacting with maimed creatures. You won't find them in Ah'rahk simply because most people have access to magical herbs or spells that negate crippling injuries. About the only things not curable are death and stupidity, and they're working on death.

Perhaps I've stumbled across one of my own phobias. Watch me scramble to get away from it!

I can't get away from it. This WIP has a villain with an interest in biology and it leads to nasty, heartless experimentation that makes my skin crawl and gives me nightmares. I can't shy away, no matter how much I want to, or the book doesn't get written. I will limit it, though. I've already cut way down on scene-setting because I don't want to imagine what it would look like. I should take a hint from H.P. Lovecraft's early works and stick with "unimaginable horror." 

The non-writers out there are saying, "Just make up another villain."

My dear readers. If only it were that simple.

The Price of Justice is becoming a much different book than I imagined it would be. Internal demons are far nastier than external ones and far harder to battle. Never fear. I will provide that happy ending I demand from my books. You'll just want it to happen sooner than it will. 

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