When a story is mulled over long enough, it begins to take shape. It has no title yet, no names picked for characters. Those details will come. The premise was something I’ve thought about for a long time – a romance about a woman, a ghost, and a castle…
Only, when I started to outline the story it kept leaning towards a tale of primal horror.
I kept trying to format it back to a love story, fought with the outline, revised the catalyst…but at some point it took on its own shape and changed into something completely thematically different.
I’ve never written a real cover-your eyes jump-scare don’t-go-into-the-basement screamer. Sure, I’ve seen plenty of movies and TV shows, read lots of books. Fuelled by a steady diet of The Dead Files and Stephen King, I should be able to do this. Should. The reality of making it happen seemed like a good idea at the time (kind of like sky-diving, until you have to jump out of the airplane).
The first week, I could not wait for a free moment to sketch out a few scenes, re-arrange them to fit. The mood was Unbridled Enthusiasm. Then I hit the half-way mark in story mapping, and that sneaky bastard Doubt wandered into the room, mocking my efforts.
Is it scary enough? Or more importantly, original enough? With no sinister soundtrack, no creepy visual effects, no jump-scares, can I frighten people with only words?
I meant it to be a romance story. Honest, I did. I tried.