Friday, 8 January 2010

Learning to forget the ideas that won't die

Us writers, we talk a lot about how we deal with developing our ideas.

How the idea comes to us, where we went with it, how we tend to feel after the story is completed.

But you know what we never talk about?

The ideas that plague us, the ideas that torment us, the ideas that ultimately may turn out to ruin us.

Why don't we, who deal in self expression, talk openly about the things we DON'T want to write about??!

Since I got serious about my vampires, there have been two ideas that WILL NOT LEAVE ME.

I don't want to write them.

More importantly, I don't think anyone would like to read them.

However, in the interests of 'nailing demons to the page', I think it might be interesting for the first time to pen down the thoughts that I would rather not explore on the page. They may be better off roaming the confines of my brain.

1. A vampire has been captured, tortured, cut within an inch of his immortal life, to reveal a secret that he will not reveal. Every possible disgusting method is utilised and the vamp laughs through most of it, if only to unsettle his captors.

The truth, for us readers who get an intimate glimpse into his mind, is that every torture cuts him to pieces and he, immortal or not, is at the end of his immortal tether, close to breaking, close to revealing a secret that not only threatens the life of a mortal but of all that she holds dear. (yes, I said 'she'.)

Q. Why don't you write it?
A. I hate torture films, stories, etc. It really upsets me. I think the idea that captors are torturing an immortal and unaware of it is unique but I don't think I could pull it off without disgusting my readers.

Q. Where did it come from?
A. No fucking idea, but it upsets me, so lets move on.

2. A vampire who originally wanted to kill an entire family becomes their unwitting saviour as a bunch of other kindred make their aggressive move all too soon.

Q. Why not write this?
A. I can't seem to find a suitable motive for why a vampire would protect humans.

Q. That sounds like a twinkie defence. Why won't you really write it?
A. It would read more like a therapy session for my readers to gain an insight into me than an actual story. It would be fake, false, no matter how genuine I intended it to be. I'm a coward. I don't want to go there.

Q. You may have a whole novella there. Isn't the risk worth it?
A. No.

These two ideas will not leave me. Every time I think about the creature, the useful metaphor of the vampire, these two ideas re-float to the surface. I have avoided them deliberately since the age of fifteen, and with good reason, at least from my standpoint.

I guess the title of this most recent blog is misleading. I don't know how to forget the ideas that won't die....

.....but if someone else knows, please message me.


  1. I don't think you need a justification for why the vampire decided to save the humans. Or it could be as simple as the fact that he (or she!) gets territorial and wants the humans for him/herself. Have you seen the remake of 3:10 to Yuma? Russell Crowe's character does something at the very end that makes one wonder, and there seems to be no justification for it, but that's what makes it all the more interesting.

    Torture -- that's tough. Perhaps you can make the torture more intellectual though. Didn't Sartre allude to the fact that Hell is really other people?!

  2. I haven't seen 3:10 to Yuma, heard good things. I did play briefly with a short story that had a similiar premise, a vamp ends up saving the person he was originally going to kill.

    Mental torture! Much better idea, less shocking maybe but at least I could write it at last!

    Are you working on a follow up to 'Release' Nicole? Like a sequel or just a stand alone second novel?

  3. Sorry for the late reply, Jevron! Yes, am currently working on Return, which is a sequel to Release. It takes place in NYC during fall of 2001. I'm nearly 80,000 words into it and it's not been as easy as I'd hoped -- the story came naturally with Release, whereas this one, I had the basic plot, but how to get there has been eluding me.

    I also did a short story featuring my vampire that I submitted to Vamplit -- hopefully it'll be available as a free download. That one's set in 1842 New Orleans and features Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau.

  4. Wow! Sounds really ambitious stuff! I kinda get scared tackling the historical stuff. Just too many potholes to avoid. Too much research involved so always in awe of authors who attempt it. Besides, I guess modern settings appeal to me more. Or I am lazy! Lol!