I don't often write dark fiction, but when I read stories (especially on a website that I collaborate and write on), I want a twist, a villainous discovery, or a nasty end to a character.
Sometimes the twist is funny or ironic, but what really gets the blood pumping is a shock. Thrill me, surprise me, but don't gross me out. I apologize to those that love gore, but I can't handle it. As clever as the show 'Dexter' is, I can't stomach the casual coldness he displays when murdering a victim. I turn my head on some surgery scenes on 'House M.D.' and some bodies on 'Bones'.
Clever writing, however, can describe a scene I'd rather not be anywhere near in real life, with alarming emotion and depth that glosses over the gross parts with beauty.
"The metal pulled at her lacerated skin, she felt a painful pinch with each reach for the next corrugated seam. Another grab and pull; another trail of blood left behind."
"Someone or something had clearly killed the beast. Nearly vomiting again, she took another look at it, trying to determine the weapon that had mutilated it. The wound was large, abdominal, and the edges that weren’t covered in goo were jagged. Had it eaten a bomb? Moving to where she could see inside the cavity, she noted that the walls were smooth. Not like a bomb, like it had a parasite, or given BIRTH!"
Or perhaps they only suggest something gory took place, or will take place:
"They chose a perfect night. The moon was new and practically non-existent as 7 boys sat noisily around the fire, a beacon in the forest to all hunters that food was there, plump, juicy and night-blind. One was speaking and his gutteral enunciations wove a spell over the boys. Their eyes got wide, their bodies stilled, and the tiny snapping of twigs made them jump. Their language was full of varying pitches and hisses and the perfect mask for my approach.
I had to slink low to the ground like a snake and walk with even pressure on all four of my limbs to spread out my weight, but I got close enough to smell their fear and feel the heat from their bodies.
I smelled something else too, competition. It was a female. She was young and inexperienced, making far too much brush move over her. An owl hooted a warning and flew off, startling my prey. She froze. She had no idea I was stalking on the other side of the circle. Should I let her flush them to me, or pounce on the fattest to ensure my take?"
I noticed that a majority on here are vampire and zombie fans. I intended this last piece to be about a creature, but some suggested that it could be a vampire.
Sure, I read each Twilight book when they first were released, and I've seen hours of Dead Rising played in my living room, but I have to admit that now when I see a story involves one of these characters, I turn away. I am not a vamp and zombie fan. You have to grab my attention with something unique.
(How many agents say that?? I am not an agent, just a writer and reader, but it's still your job to get me to read your things. If you craft it well, I will read it.)
As a final note, I'm looking for ways to improve my villains. Rarely do I craft a tale chilling enough to make people compliment the evil in my work. My heart is not in the darkness. But I know my stories need good villains to overcome. As you can see, I am working on it. :) Tips, pointers to great examples, and comments are welcome!
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