Writing From the Dark Side

This week on Hide and Create, Diana Rowland, Joshua Essoe, Moses Siregar, and Jordan Ellinger talk about writing from the dark side.

Writing is therapy. And sometimes it’s alien abduction. You never know. Just as your writing can benefit from your life experience, your life experience can benefit from your writing.

Next time you’re stuck in line, waiting for groceries, waiting at the DMV, riding an elevator, let your mind wander. What would be the worst possible thing that could happen in that situation? What would be the most amazing thing? Or the most romantic? Everyday life is rife with writing prompts and stories, all you have to do is let your mind do the walking.

2 thoughts on “Writing From the Dark Side

  1. I liked Moses’ comments about not wanting to following too far down the dark trail of limit pushing, his not wanting to make bad guys cool in his writing reminded me of a few favorite quotes from the cinematographer Tarkovsky’s “Sculpting in Time”:

    “Some sort of pressure must exist; the artist exists because the world is not perfect. Art would be useless if the world were perfect, as man wouldn’t look for harmony but would simply live in it. Art is born out of an ill-designed world.

    “It is obvious that art cannot teach anyone anything, since in four thousand years humanity has learnt nothing at all. We should long ago have become angels had we been capable of paying attention to the experience of art, and allowing ourselves to be changed in accordance with the ideals it expresses. Art only has the capacity, through shock and catharsis, to make the human soul receptive to good. It’s ridiculous to imagine that people can be taught to be good…Art can only give food – a jolt – the occasion – for psychical experience.”

    “The allotted function of Art is not, as is often assumed, to put across ideas, to propagate thoughts, to serve as an example. The aim of art is to prepare a person for death, to plough and harrow his soul, rendering it capable of turning to good.”

  2. Speaking of alien abductions, I tried that once at 17 on a camping trip with a friend. It was in the summer of ’74 I think, the last year of all the UFO sightings in our part of the country. We were camped out in a large pasture under a short leaf pine, the night was clear and moonless. We talked for a long while until we noticed a glow rising above the tree line at the back of the pasture. We watched agape as light from four baby moons all in a row poured over the the tree tops. It spilled across the pasture in distinct pools, all running side by side in a straight line from the tree line towards distant road on the other side of the pasture as if they were following the fence row. I jumped up and began running towards the lights yelling and waving my arms. My friend however screamed at me to get back under the tree. As the lights drew a breast, I could discern a little blinking red strobe behind them, and a few seconds later I heard the muffled rumble of engines. It was just a low flying cargo plane. I wasn’t going to be abducted after all and my friend was still yelling at me.

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