If you’re a horror writer or you love to write dark, psychological stories and thrillers, or moralistic tales, this is the one question that needs an answer. Wanting a dark story and writing one are two different things, so how do you actually make a story dark? To answer that you first have to understand what is meant by ‘dark’. We usually define ‘dark’ as quantifiable elements that we know and are familiar with, but it’s more than that. Dark doesn’t necessarily mean scary or gory with a crazy psychopath going around chopping people into bits. Instead we have to think of ‘dark ‘as anything outside our accepted rose-tinted reality. Dark is the underbelly of our society; it’s the handling of ideas, themes, social issues and behaviours that would be seen as morally unacceptable. It’s less about fictional monsters but more about the real monsters that lurk in the shadows, something that is underscored by our fears and anxieties. It’s the unknown, because the things we don’t know
Popular posts from this blog
Description is one of the three key elements in fiction, along with narrative and dialogue, which brings your story to life. It’s the lifeblood of your role as storyteller. It means a writer must involve the reader at every level, and he or she can do that through the medium of description. Description creates a vivid picture for the reader, it allows them to open a gateway to your story and imagine themselves within your fictional world. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to go into detail about everything for every scene . It simply means that you have to be prudent in knowing when it’s required and why. You as a writer can elicit emotions within your reader, you create tension and atmosphere, and you create a sense of immediacy – a sense of being right there with the character. Great description helps the reader to build a fully formed picture in their mind’s eye; to understand what your character is going through and how the character sees his or her world.
Following on from last week’s article about purple prose, cadence – something many writers haven’t heard of – is something that writers aspire to but don’t always manage it, yet it’s the fundamental difference between poetic language and over-indulgent, flowery prose. Cadence in writing is a sense of rhythm and pace, it lifts the narrative from the page and makes it dynamic; brings a certain tempo to the words and sentences; it’s what makes prose poetic, layered and fluid without it being extravagant. Cadence makes the writing visual and evocative, and to an extent, beautiful . It’s an important element in fiction writing, because without it, narrative certainly won’t be as effective. Writers don’t actively think about cadence – they simply want to write and get the words down. It’s not until later, while editing, that they realise that a sense of rhythm might be missing from their narrative. When poetic description works, it’s called cadence. When it doesn’t work, people ref