I never thought I’d wax nostalgic for the days of book reports, that I would end up moved enough by a book that reading it wasn’t enough. I keep hoping I can get my creative juices working and write something of my own, fiction that is. I can write an essay anytime, as observed on here.
If you had asked me last week, I would have said that there were two kinds of horror; the legitimately suspenseful, and the emotional. Personally I consider myself in it for the suspense, I’ve encountered very few effective emotional books.
This one book, The Watchers by A.M. Shine, is a mold breaker. The thing is after finishing it earlier today, I still can’t decide if it’s a good book, whether I really want to reread it ever again. Most of the time when a book waxes emotional, I check out, and this was no exception, I must have hate forced myself through at least a third of it. I don’t care about the sentimental daydreams of a character in an awful situation. I like when there are parallels with their prior life, but the moment they start to unearth feelings they had walled off is usually where I walk (close the book).
The premise gripped me though. A weird similar thing happened with Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard. Except I know without a doubt that is a bad book. More than half of it is garbage, characters best forgotten. The damn premise though, it dragged me through, and so it did here.
I’ve never known anyone else who hate read books that the premise was too good. Most people don’t seem to read conventional fiction much at all. “Why not watch a movie? Why not watch TV?” Most visual media is depressingly formulaic. I can’t engage on the same level I do with a novel. I can’t engage as well with characters who already have a voice and a face. Persona means mask, and I think most people are better masked than they want to admit. It’s why I went into psychology in the first place, trying to get behind the mask.
The sad fact is most people don’t have a compelling story, or relateable motivations. You take the mask off and there’s just a frightened child. They’re so obsessed with how others see them, they never concern themselves with who they actually are.
Meanwhile I’m over here, forgetting I’m wearing a mask. This is the most me I can be, in written form. If any of you saw me, you’d meet someone entirely different. You’d meet who you wanted to meet, because that’s all the thought I’ve put into it. What do they assume? Okay, I’ll make that work. Very few people who see my real face ever meet the me behind the curtain.
This is the kind of stuff only horror can dredge up, good or bad it forces me to consider my own feelings, and be vulnerable with them in the moment.
I think I’m probably some weird deviant, just not the dangerous kind, the useful kind. Most people are happy to leave the mask on, avoid introspection and philosophy. For so long I tried to be like that, failed. There isn’t enough there, I come in with my ideals that people would be as kind as I imagine them to be.
The truth is, we’re always surrounded by monsters, both abstract and very real.
I really, really need to figure out how to write a novel length piece of fiction.
The issue is that every book ever written is a confession. Who you are unavoidably comes out, deep stuff that humans don’t even know how to talk about. That scares me, the idea that someone could see me at that level. Then there’s my shame, is what I have to reveal even worth people’s time?!
The book ended on one of those cliffhangers where you weren’t sure if there was another book coming or not. Just that final chill through your bones, most good horror does that at the end.
That’s the other problem, I can figure out the first two acts, but the final act always seems to stump me.
ah, longing to be worthwhile, longing to be read by others, does everyone feel this way or is it part of my deviation?
longing for a satisfying conclusion, but denied again.