How do you feel about reading or writing dark stories?
Have you ever thought about the themes you might associate with your writing?
Is there something about the nature of prose that makes it appropriate to explore darker topics?
The line between light and dark stories is not so clear these days, as our world is becoming more polarized. Yet, there is a difference. A dark story is characterized by its use of violence, gore and terror, and it typically explores psychological themes.
On the other hand, a light story uses humor, irony and exaggerated gestures to explore its themes. It might describe a character’s struggle to overcome his or her own personal demons.
What’s more, a dark story is rarely (if ever) written in the first person. Instead, the author usually creates a fictitious persona, which allows for more freedom and flexibility when exploring the story’s subject matter.
So, if you’ve had trouble finding your voice as a writer, this is the perfect opportunity to find out what it is you’re really trying to say. Maybe you can even use your newfound voice to tell a dark story.
Try Something New
Sometimes, it’s not a good idea to stay within the boundaries of what you know. Life is about learning, and you should always be open to exploring new things. Otherwise, you’ll never grow as a person.
What should you do if you want to explore dark stories?
You could begin by taking a look at the works of famous authors you admire. You might discover that they’ve written something that would fit perfectly into your next project.
For example, did you know that Ray Bradbury wrote a short story called “The Possibility of Flight”? It’s an all-time favorite of Bradbury’s fans, and it’s actually been included in several of his collections. This is a story about an inventor who creates a flying machine, but it’s not until the end that you discover the machine is actually sentient and capable of thinking and feeling.
If you’re looking for an author who can help you develop a more serious side, then you could explore the works of Anthony Burgess. His novels and short stories delve into the darker aspects of human nature, particularly in regards to sexuality. In one of his most famous works, Death in Venice, the main character travels to Venice, where he meets a group of expatriate English artists. While he’s there, he becomes obsessed with a young dancer named Katharine, who later sacrifices her life to save the main character’s.]
Burgess’ work is difficult to categorize. Some of his fans enjoy his dark stories, while others prefer his more light-hearted novels. It really depends on the reader.
Delve Into The Genre
If you’re really determined to tell dark stories, you might want to take a closer look at the form. After all, there are definite conventions associated with this type of writing, which you need to follow if you want to ensure your story is effective. Otherwise, you might end up with something that simply isn’t right, in terms of the way people behave and interact in real life. This can make for some truly weird fiction.
Here are a few things you need to remember if you decide to write a dark story:
1. Avoid Clichés
Clichés are words or phrases that are overused and/or inappropriate in this case. For example, “cold as stone” is a cliché and it’s usually used when someone is emotionless. Similarly, “like a damn fool” is another cliché and it’s usually used when someone is acting in a manner that’s illogical or irrational. Avoid these cliches and find other, more creative ways to say what you want to say.
If you want to use the first person, then do so only when describing the thoughts and actions of the main character. The author’s point of view in a story is called the “authorial” point of view. Using the first person in this way adds a personal touch to your writing and it can make the story more “real.”
2. Use Grim Setting
If you want to write a dark story, then it’s time to start showing off your grisly side. It’s not enough to have somebody kill themselves, you’ve got to put a sinister spin on it. For example, if you write about somebody chopping their wife’s head off with an axe, it would be better to describe her screaming as she did so. The more you can make the experience as realistic as possible, the more you can evoke an emotional response in the reader.
3. Keep The Audience In Mind
It’s a good idea to write a dark story for an “educated” audience. People who have a greater understanding of the world and what occurs in it are less likely to be affected by horror fiction than those who are less aware of the reality of life. This is why it’s usually a good idea to write dark stories for adolescents or adults. They’re typically the ones who will benefit the most from your grisly tale.
4. Dark Is Often Means Better
If you’re really determined to write a dark story, then go for it. You’ll most likely succeed if you create something that will stick out in the reader’s mind. Sometimes, very dark events can be quite humorous. For example, did you know that H.P. Lovecraft wrote a short story about a dog that talks? Yet, it’s still one of his most famous works. Similarly, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote a story about a dog which inspired a character in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. It wasn’t until the final book that you learn that the Dog was actually a wizard named Dumbledore, who had chosen to remain dog-like because it “embodies all that is good and loyal in a beastly form.”
To conclude, there is definitely something to be said for writing dark stories. The more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. Keep at it, and soon you’ll be able to tell stories that will leave an impact on your readers.