Hi, SEers! You’re with Mae today.
Remember when you were a kid, afraid of monsters? They exist in writing, too. Bet you didn’t expect that, but take it from me—your resident cryptid, monster lover—not all strange creatures are bad. Let’s remember that Mary Shelly’s creation—Frankenstein’s monster—was actually a sensitive, articulate soul. He started out as something hideous, cadaver parts stitched together and an appearance that made others react with revulsion and terror.
Monsters aren’t always what they seem. Today, I’d like to know if you have a monster in your backlog of stories. One that haunts you and won’t leave you alone. A story that has been cobbled together of plot threads over the years.
The “haunting” usually begins as a solid idea. The story has a start, a middle, and a solid finish. For a while it even seems exceptional, but with the passage of time, the concept erodes. It demands tinkering. And like Victor Frankenstein, we look at our creation and deem it unworthy. We start removing parts, stitching in others. It gets set aside. Again and again. Forgotten about as other projects consume us. In the grand scheme of things, despite all the tinkering we’ve done, we can’t “fix” the problems to our satisfaction.
Years past. Your creation gathers dust. But monsters are never content being forgotten. Other projects come and go. Some get rejected, never to be resurrected. But this monster is different. Like legends of old, it refuses to die.
You remove characters, add others, change plot threads. Tweaking, tweaking, tweaking. Because, above all else, you believe in the story. Something in it insists on being told.
My monster has haunted me for decades. Part of me wants to kick it to the curb and forget it exists, but “something” keeps me going back over and again, refusing to let it crumble into dust. After decades, it’s still a work in progress. Despite the passage of time, reshuffling characters and plot, the core of the story serenades like a siren. I can’t abandon it. My monster wants his day in the spotlight, cobbled together, stitches, cadaver parts, and all.
Can you relate? Hauntings have a purpose. I want to hear about yours. Let’s talk monsters in the comments.
Ready, set, go!