1. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    Bothered by your own thoughts

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Garball, Aug 27, 2014.

    Is anybody else ever bothered or disturbed by how dark your imagination can be? Sometimes I feel guilty about some of the characters or stories that come into my head.
     
  2. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Eh, not really. What matters isn't what we think, but what we do. Basically everyone has false racist/sexist/etc. perceptions in their head that they have picked up from somewhere, but if you tell yourself why they aren't actually true and never act on them, it doesn't matter. Likewise for other disturbing thoughts. If you understand they are disturbing and won't act on them, who cares?

    If one is getting a perverse pleasure of them (I am not pointing fingers :whistle:), then it's probably time to talk to a psychologist. Even then, the person should not feel guilty as he or she is doing everything they can to help themselves.
     
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  3. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    You should try being bipolar. It is a fucking freakshow in here.
     
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  4. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    Just to be clear, I am not having thoughts about doing evil things; just the stories I conjure up can be pretty sick and twisted. I feel I had to clarify because I told my GF and she looked at me weird.
     
  5. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    When I invented a certain villain-creature, I felt nothing but thrills, and a bit of pride. That is because the effect of darkness or evil on me depends on the nature of it.

    Pure shock value, like cooking babies alive and eating them, begins with disgust, then it risks sliding into desensitization, and then it risks sliding into narm.

    On the other hand, when combined with guile, darkness and evil actually make me feel elevated in a twisted way. Walter White is the best example of this. I should be utterly repulsed when he murders people who get in his way, and he sells an addictive, life-destroying drug to build a fortune. But he builds an empire from scratch. He takes on extreme challenges, from the technical challenge of cooking meth to the emotional challenge of keeping his crime life and his family life separate to the social challenge of asserting power that he only has via illusion. His opponents range from the DEA to powerful cartels, all of which are Goliaths to his David. He begins with nothing but his wits and a debilitating and miserable illness. Everything he accomplishes comes straight from his extreme competence, cunning, and courage. I respect and admire that, and I get excited when he moves up in the world. Somehow, knowing that his actions are technically evil merely enhances that excitement. And, of course, I instinctively root for the underdog, even when the underdog is evil.

    Likewise, I respect, admire, and envy my villain's guile that is necessary to maintain a convincing disguise. It has a lot to do with my experience playing text-based Mafia with a role that requires one player to pose as another player. I have never had a stronger adrenaline rush in my life than when I pose as another player. (Seriously, I almost pass out. Now I know exactly why gambling is so addictive.) When I pull it off, I am overwhelmed by pride, satisfaction, and relief. Therefore, I channel all those emotions into the villain.

    In a more general sense, I find it difficult to lie or to manipulate people in real life. (And in Mafia.) Naturally, I gravitate toward fictional characters who lie and manipulate without a second thought. They are empowering. Even if I intend to be a good, honest person in real life, I still find the fantasy enticing.

    Not only does the aspect of respect and envy get me excited about the villain, but so does the intellectual depth. On the surface, the villain manipulates people and destroys relationships. But beneath the surface, it must have an intricate understanding of love in order to know how to steal love. In that sense, the story is an ironic, twisted case study on human nature. The way the reader studies the nuances of characters' love for each other is by following the villain's clever strategies for turning them against each other. In this story, good is observed most clearly through the lens of evil.

    There is no greater emotion than the pride in creation. If the creation is clever enough, then the evilness of the creation enhances pride with adrenaline rather than cancelling out pride with shame. That is what I experience.
     
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  6. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I, for one, think you should embrace your inner monster. H.P Lovecraft no doubt did, and look what he created.
     
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  7. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Let's remember that Lovecraft was both paid by the word, and an anti-Semite.

    Edited to add: I don't want people to think I don't like Lovecraft, I love Lovecraft. I just know that he didn't much like Jews.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014
  8. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Having the courage to grapple with what is labeled 'evil'—as you are doing–and striving to understand what it is and what makes it tick, is a worthy ambition for a writer.

    The scary thing is, you can end up creating such empathy with evil characters that your readers end up admiring and even loving them. Also scary. But that's what writers do, isn't it? Writers grapple with issues that we tend to skim over in real life, because we're basically decent people and very busy in the here and now.
     
  9. Chaos Inc.
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    Chaos Inc. Active Member

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    I'm weirded out when I get so detailed about some gruesome death or injury I find myself pulling back a little. I've actually been through a time in my life when I'd watch the videos of horrific accidents and brutality across the world. Ever seen people burned alive over 15 minutes? Seen a Serbian Soldier get their head cut off with a knife while someone holds a boot on their head? It's not so much the imagery that sticks with me, it's the involuntary sounds.

    I guess in my case it's not really imagination. Not sure why I was interested in it but it sure the hell helps when painting a picture with words. =/
     
  10. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Sometimes. I'm a very gentle, calm person who's never been in a fight and would never hurt anyone. I know that my ability to imagine very horrific and violent things isn't a sign to be worried about. It's just creativity; an ability to imagine.

    What worries me, and makes me depressed, is that I'm pretty sure (from what I've read) that anything that I can make up, no matter how bad or dark or grisly it might be, has probably happened for real. My thinking is this: if I can think of it, so can someone who would actually do it. If my imagination can come up with something so cruel and horrific, just think what the imagination of actual violent, unethical people can come up with? Now that disturbs me.
     
  11. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    No, not really. The stuff T and I write happens in real life, so while basically it is all make-believe, they are based on real stuff, real stories, real fates. It's like wanting to give a voice to people who've been rendered voiceless, especially women (whether we have the right or not is another issue). Some people can misinterpret that, but it's their problem, not ours. The only thing I worry is that too much darkness and the audience becomes desensitized. That I don't want.
     
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  12. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Not going to lie, sometimes I'm flat out terrified at what I can conjure up even if I know it's all pretend and doesn't indicate anything. It's not always the villains, but even the heroes. Once I wondered how far one of my main characters would go to rescue someone she cared about. So to test this, I created a scenario where I had one of the suspects tied to a bed (long story) and she was beginning her interrogation. Wasn't long before she ripped off the bandages exposing an open wound on his leg and began to poke, proud, hold candles to, sprinkle salt on, generally doing everything possible to make that wound worse all while mocking her suspect and all of her friends merely stood there and watched. Now, he was a scumbag anyway, but when she started torturing him and saying he deserved every last bit of it, I was really disturbed. Then she started threatening to go after his family, specifically his little girl and how, to quote this character, "...I'll have so much fun with her. Oh, yes. Pity she can't walk, it ruins the chase for me."

    ...Let's just say I put her aside for a bit. I still like, fascinated by her character, but I'm still scared of her and the fact that I didn't know this was in her character to be this way.

    At any rate, I remember something an author mentioned about creating your characters. She mentioned how exploring your own inner darkness can be frightening, that "you might find something you that's a bit of a monster." But if all your villains are just cardboard cutouts, who are no more cruller than an average schoolboy, then that's all your heroes will ever face. Don't be afraid to find a mini-Stalin or Pol-Pot within you, is what I'm thinking she's saying. Just because you can create fictional monsters doesn't mean you are those fictional monsters.

    @Selbbin is right, though. There are some deeply disturbed, sick pups out there. If we thought it up, chances are someone, somewhere, had already done it in real life. :(
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014
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  13. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    i would say i am bothered by my thoughts, but i really arent bothered at all by them, no matter how disturbing they can be, because i know what i am like, and can trust myself not to do anything stupid (even when drunk)
     
  14. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    I have lived with existential depression for well over a decade now. I say lived and not suffered because it proved impossible to shift. I have sought professional treatments for this but really there is no cure, nor no return from the knowledge that ultimately life has no meaning. I have simply refused to live since I was 30 or so there just doesn't seem any point.

    Others find my viewpoint on life bleak and so I don't speak of it, but it doesn't make me frightened of myself to know that quite possibly the most significant thing I might do in my life is to simply die. (Please don't send me msgs of concern. It's okay, if I was going to do that I would have accomplished it already.)

    I engage in creative pursuits to get the obsession going. This is where my focus becomes so absolute that I can put aside the meaningless of life for a while and accomplish little projects. But once the project burns out that is it, there is no reason to live anymore. Not until I can find the next obsession. I've often wondered if this would make an interesting story but I don't think so. So few people life their lives on these terms that I doubt others would understand it or find it interesting in the least.

    So from a person who lives her life in a black haze of dark thoughts nothing in that dimness of life scares me anymore. The deviant side of human nature is just the self trying to find out it's boundaries. As long as acts of harm aren't carried out on others then what does it matter to explore intellectually certain taboos?
     
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  15. JamesBrown
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    JamesBrown Active Member

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    You need to get God in your life, PensiveQuill, and if you find him, tell him from me he's a dickhead :)

    Seriously though, I feel your pain. I was coming up to 30 when ill-health struck me down and the decade+3 since then has been relentlessly tough. I lead a life of devoting myself to one project after another to give life some meaning, and try and get back what I've lost. It's good to find some kind of lightness that can counter balance though, be it women, a pet or football (these work for me anyway, to a point).

    I try and take the view that the angle of life we share has enlightened us, and I try and put that into my writing, and you should too. The world's full of us.
     
  16. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    Kierkegaard already did, then wrote a bestseller...:agreed:, still in print 163yrs later.
     
  17. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've read police transcripts of the kind of horrific crimes that nothing I ever managed to conjure up measured up to the real thing. I also saw and treated severe injuries. Knowing the reality of it makes me feel a certain kind of respect for the human suffering, and I see now all overt attempts at fictional monstrosity and violence, as gore porn. I also know many people who feel this way anyway, and aren't interested in gore porn at all. Maybe your girlfriend is like that?
     
  18. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into the abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you." - Friedrich Nietzsche
     
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  19. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Nope. I wear my darkness like a lover's embrace.
     
  20. LeighAnn
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    LeighAnn Member

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    I'm more bothered that I'm not bothered by my own thoughts.
     
  21. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    I view it as therapeutic. If I can hash out my darker thoughts through fictitious violence or kinky made-up sex laced with profanity, I'm not so inclined to do it in real life. Shooting my villain point-blank in the forehead at the end of my last book was fun, and he could easily have been a metaphor for all the real people in my life that piss me off.

    Sometimes it's a bit creepy, when I stop and wonder why I use such specific acts of violence or sex in my stories instead of vagaries like "she shot him" or "they had sex on the couch". As the writer, we must admit that some part of us wishes we could try the fantasy just once, but our human-ness fortunately prevents us. The thing to remember is the reader shares the same dark desires in most cases. If we tell the story properly, the reader can experience the same vicarious thrills that we do in writing it.
     
  22. AlannaHart
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    AlannaHart Contributing Member

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    I'm more disturbed by people who claim NOT to have morbid imaginations. When I start talking about grisly details and someone stops me because they're squeamish or whatever, I roll my eyes. If you haven't gone there in your mind, you're denying your own humanity, in my opinion. Back when we all used to watch torture in the streets for entertainment we were a lot more in touch with our mortality (not that it was a good way of going about it). Not having a morbid imagination is like not knowing, or not wanting to know, what you really are.
     
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  23. sreeves2
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    sreeves2 New Member

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    This is so me. Like, all the time. I am so fascinated with dark things, and sometimes I wonder if I'm insane from the thoughts that form in my head xD but they're just thoughts, so I guess I don't worry about it too much...
     
  24. J Faceless
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    J Faceless Active Member

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    While writing a story it once changed my personality drastically. I suddenly didn't like close friends, had a different outlook on life and even developed new mannerisms. It turned me into George Costanza, I was getting into arguments with everyone, nitpicking the smallest details. This change was temporary and after a while i went back to normal. Well I hope it was the writing and not the alcohol that corresponds with it.
     
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  25. DromedaryLights
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    DromedaryLights Active Member

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    I'm pretty comfortable with what I write. For me there is a clear difference between authorial voice, characters' voices, and my own true self. What I'm less comfortable with is what other people might think about me based on what I write, haha.
     

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