Writing–The Story Went “Boo!”

The Werewolf of Fever Swamp (TV special)

It’s not unusual for me to fall asleep thinking about a story I’m working on, particularly if it’s a big project like a novel. Many a night I drift off thinking about what happens next or what scenes need to be revised or what plot problems need to be fixed.

Most of my short stories are firmly in the horror genre. To date, I’ve only written one straight horror novel manuscript prior to this year’s NaNo project and in the end, I revised it to fit more in the vein of my other novels (a mix of horror, comedy, supernatural/fantasy). Every night during that November that I worked on that first draft, I fell asleep thinking about it. Mostly I thought about how boring it was. Writing it as straight horror wasn’t working out so well for me. But I plowed through it and called it done knowing I could fix it later.

Of all the nights that I fell asleep thinking about my scary stories, never once did anything I came up with keep me awake.

Until last week.

I tend to have trouble falling asleep and sleeping in general on Sunday nights. I don’t know if it’s the anticipation of the 6:30 Monday morning wake-up call or what. Last Sunday, as is typical for my November nights, I got into bed and attempted to drift off while thinking about my NaNo project. I was trying to figure out how to get my two MCs out of the cabin in the woods and back to their car with the bad guy looking in the window.

My brain tumbled this prospect around as I fell asleep, leading me down a promising path until sleep snuck in and the path suddenly turned and I jerked to consciousness though I wasn’t quite asleep, scared out of my wits.

I’ve never had one of my own stories do that to me. Never. I never think what I write is very scary. I rely on other people to tell me that the notes I attempted to hit and thought I hit were the right ones. But my own story jerking me out of a near sleep like that is new.

It makes me think I might be on to something here.

It also wrecked my Sunday sleep, yet again.

Let’s hope it was worth it.

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