When things come together

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I hope you all enjoyed our brief short-story interlude – there will probably be other similar posts at some point in the future. Today, though, you’re back to me blogging. Sorry about that! Then again, I suppose that’s what you’re here for, so I’ll stop rambling and get to the actual blog.

Over the course of the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to figure out a good spooky horror story to write for NaNoWriMo ’14, as a challenge to myself because it’s not a genre I’ve ever really tried out before. I’ve been more or less on top of the main scary features, but I’ve been puzzling over backstory and the odd apparition. It’s been driving me a little bit mad.

Yesterday, someone in my writing group shared a link to an article about what writers do wrong when writing a specific situation. It occurred to me that that situation would be a perfect cause for the haunting I had in mind, which was a problem I could then check off my list and start planning in more detail.

And then, this morning, having gone to sleep in the middle of a rather loud and brilliant storm, I had a nightmare. You could almost say inspiration struck like lightning, because I was in the middle of a fairly normal dream – one of those normal-everyday-life-but-everything’s-just-slightly-off dreams – when this terrifying figure appeared and, with only the power of a few words, killed the dream version of me and left me to wake up gasping. Apparition of terror? Check.

I now just have to work out whether the elements all work together (on the surface, they seem to, but that’s always something that may change in the planning stages) and start filling in some details in my mind, working out some kind of structure to the story – whether to set it only in the present or include flashbacks to the original events causing the haunting, for example – and creating the characters. I have a month and ten days before the challenge starts in earnest and I can begin writing, and it’s great that the main components have just slotted into place over the last couple of days. Inspiration can come from anywhere!

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