I Write Dark

I Write Dark

In the post Evolution of a Story, I detailed the transformation of a plot from a dream. Those changes all happened in a relatively short period of time and show more about how one certain plot changed than how I have changed as a writer over time. To see my transformation over time, it’s better to use a story I’ve written over and over throughout my teenage years.

When I started this story, it was called Wings and was about a girl almost exactly like me who grew wings. The original intent of the story was to go through my life of school, basketball practice, and summer camp work with wings growing out of my back. It was no more than a fantasy. Then, I decided to make it more interesting and had this girl kidnapped for a scientist who wanted to experiment on her wings.

For this new plot, I had to make a kidnapper and the scientist who he worked for. I made the kidnapper ruthless and detestable. He was the bad guy. From there, I decided that this other version of me would try to share the gospel with him, and he would change for the better, go against this scientist he worked for, help her escape, and go to jail for his crimes.

The more I added to the story, the darker it got. I had to explain why the entire country would be up in arms about one girl’s disappearance, so I made her the president’s daughter. Now, she was no longer a version of me. This made me more interested in the kidnapper, so I made him a very depressing backstory. The main story changed from focusing on a Christian kidnapped girl leaning on God to get her through to her finding out about the kidnapper’s horrific backstory and his path of redemption.

The kidnapper was raped by a father figure as a young boy and considers himself gay until he falls in love with her. Another experiment converts Sarah (the girl “based” on me) to Christianity, and when the kidnapper sees how she changes, he also converts. This leads to him him going against his boss, helping them escape, and then dying to protect them from his boss’s employers.

I could go on and on about just how many times this story has changed since. I got rid of Sarah’s wings, and then dropped the Christianity to turn it into an unrequited love story. The kidnapper then decided he was actually gay and not just scarred by his past, so Sarah’s character became a boy. What once was an innocent fantasy about me with wings leading a dangerous man to Christ became a homosexual unrequited love story focusing on the kidnapper’s moral struggles with the nature of his boss’s experiments.

This story exemplifies the changes I have gone through as a story-crafter. I made a story about myself going through adventures when I was young. I changed the adventures to make them more believable or entertaining. The character that was supposed to be me became less like me. I focused on the antagonist more and why they were the way they were. I struggled with my faith, and so did my characters. I lost my faith, and my stories followed. The antagonist became more interesting than the protagonist, and the focus of my stories started to revolve around the antagonists’ lives. Because of this, my more recent stories tend to end up dark with lots of death, destruction, rape, angst, and depression.

More on this next week.

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