None of my stories (well, almost none of them) start out the way they are supposed to. I suppose this is normal, but it drives me nuts. I have an especially bad case of it, you see.
The Azrael started out as a semi-comedic little nightmare about a therapist whose client brings a corpse to the session. Then it became a seriously big nightmare about a therapist who murders his clients because they annoy him (“death therapy”). I have a BA in Psychology, so occasionally I just can’t resist the urge to parody my professors. After a while, all those syndromes and complexes just make you want to… Anyway…
The story was not working, primarily because the therapist bored me. No matter what I did, he just wasn’t crazy enough. So I decided to tell the story from the client’s perspective. Then things got interesting.
I couldn’t decide whether Clive Witherwell should be nuts or not. If he were nuts, the tale of his takeover by X wouldn’t be as scary: the reader would think “Nutty people hallucinate all the time. How dull.” If he were sane, the takeover wouldn’t be believable: the reader would think “Good grief! She expects me to swallow that incredible whopper?”
To avoid Spoiler Syndrome, let’s just say that I focused on creating such a weird voice for Clive that I didn’t have to decide about his sanity.
I would like to write more about Clive and X, especially X. It is frustrating to think about, though, because I can see the ideas taking shape but I have no idea how to phrase them…Hmmm…Interesting…Sorry. Incoming…
Now where’s my pencil?