The last few days, I’ve been researching my latest project, (I dare not call it a novel yet) and some of it has been nauseating.
I had to figure out everything possible about flaying (don’t ask me why) and I was a little apprehensive–material like this would be hard to find, I thought. Apparently not. When I fed various sadistic keywords related to skinning a human body into Google, I was shocked to see the graphic details available on certain websites.
I have now borrowed books from the library which have diagrams and descriptions, and am making notes in between drinking camomile tea to keep myself calm. It is kind of hard to comprehend what humans are capable of doing to other humans.
All this begs the question (which someone asked me yesterday) : why do I have to write on a subject I can’t study with a straight face?
Because, like I told my questioner, I can’t help it.
The story has been haunting me for a while, three years, to be exact. It started with a voice that wouldn’t be denied, a character who spoke first in my notebook at a group writing session, then at a blogfest, and several times afterwards, including this week at another blogfest. His name is Vrishchik Chaturvedi. He is real now and has known it for a while– has said so, too. And his story is now taking shape, and tormenting me while at it.
I’m in control in the outside world, but he’s the lord of the world of my writing, and that is why I find myself, a girl who is afraid of the dark, who cannot sit through gory movies (not even relatively non-heavy-duty, harmless ones like I Know What You Did Last Summer), now writing about this guy who scares the living daylights out of her.
My story has chosen me, and I’ve decided I might as well get it out of my system.
So my question to the writers amongst you: Do you choose the story you’re going to write, or does the story choose you?