horror in real life is why we write horror in fiction
Posted by Lisha Cauthen
After a week of non-stop horrible, real-life punches in the gut from Boston and West, Texas, I’ve lost enthusiasm for revising my current manuscript.
I write YA—edgy YA—with foul language, violence, terror and gruesome details, when necessary.
But witnessing real suffering all week has exhausted my capacity for such things. Telling stories seems silly. Useless.
But that’s wrong.
In a horrible coincidence, the week before the Boston Marathon Bombing, my daughter saw a woman suffer a “traumatic amputation”. My daughter wouldn’t talk about it, all she did was tell me it happened.
Then the Boston catastrophe occurred. And stories were told through text, video and still picture.
My daughter called. She asked if I had seen the picture of the man in the wheelchair who had lost both his legs. She recounted the story of how the man in the cowboy hat grabbed him up, saved him.
Then she finally let the nightmare out of her head and told me about the day she watched a woman become an amputee.
We need stories.
So tomorrow I will start back again. I will get it all as right as I can.
I write so those who’ve never experienced terrible things can understand those who have.
I write so those who have experienced terrible things can find a way in to talk about it.