Posts Tagged ‘writer’

Some recent reviews of my latest book Followers got me thinking… do characters have to be “good”? By this, I mean, do you need to consider the protagonist a good person or do you need to relate to or understand them to truly enjoy a book? Do they need to be the “good guy”? Do they need to do the “right” things? Do you need to see yourself (or what you would want to see in yourself) in them?

I think media has proven to us ad nauseam that flawed characters are compelling, from classic to modern literature (to movies, TV, video games, social media…). If characters did not make ill-advised decisions, how would we have conflict? But do we have to understand them? Do they have to be like us? Do they have to be sympathetic to be a successful character?

Where is that line?

Upon reflection, I find that I have mixed feelings on these questions (and the reviews). As a writer, I tend to avoid purely “good” characters. I don’t like good at all. I found my voice in creative non-fiction, and I am a deeply flawed person. That awareness of my flaws and defects translated to fiction. My writing is largely driven by the psychology and emotional experience of my characters, and for that to feel authentic, I feel compelled to include ugly truths.

In short, my characters aren’t real if they’re “good”.

I think real people are complicated and so too should characters be. I think they make awful decisions and mistakes. They hid and obscure unsavory parts of themselves. They behave in frustratingly human ways.

In Followers, I really pushed this idea. Sidney, my protagonist, is not a wholly sympathetic character. You meet her after she has ruined her marriage with infidelity. Then she soothes her insecurities by farming attention from online boyfriends. Did I mention she’s not the best mother either? Not savory characteristics but potentially real ones. Do Sidney’s flaws make her an unsympathetic character? Do the reader’s judgments of Sidney’s behavior color the rest of the story?

Sidney may be the most unsympathetic protagonist I have written, but she is not the first.

In Savages, my narrator is a whiny and traumatized reluctant apocalypse survivor. When she discovers a baby, she does everything possible to avoid caring for it to dodge her own painful memories. Who wants to root for someone who won’t help for a helpless infant?

In The Waning, captivity breaks Beatrix down slowly. The entire book is about her not reacting how she thinks she would, not fighting back the way she should. Her psychology and her will unravels. Can you keep fighting for someone who does not fight for herself?

In The Rest Will Come, online dating drives Emma over the edge, but she is obsessed with finding a partner and shallow in her pursuits. She tortures herself hunting for the perfect, hot, tall guy. Who wants the shallow girl to find the one and live happily ever after?

(Really selling my writing, aren’t I? haha)

All of these women, all of my protagonists are flawed if not fully unsympathetic. As a writer, I am drawn to them as my wounded little children. Their defects are what make them real and compelling to me.

Yet, on the other side of the page, as a reader, it is a different experience. Sometimes, a flawed character resonates with me perfectly and is brilliant. Yet other times, the character’s defects clatter against me off-tune, and it alienates me from the story. So… both? All of the time, a perfect or wholly “good” character turns me off immediately.

Perhaps the answer is empathy. Perhaps I tolerate the flaws and poor decisions and unsavory characteristics when I still empathize with the character. I do not even have to like the character, but I do need to understand and feel for them. Where is that line for me? I don’t necessarily know, but I can feel it when the book misses it.

Reading is a subjective experience. The same story and character can be read different by every single person. Every single person can prefer a different reading experience. I can think of many flawed and unsympathetic protagonists. Ones who have enthralled me and others who have irritated me. I wonder if my characters are unsympathetic to some readers or just not compelling enough to them to create the empathy necessary for those readers to go on the journey.

Is this a question of the wrong audience? Or should characters be universal enough to draw the reader into their world, seduce them into their flawed plight?

Ultimately, I would not change any of my characters. Sidney could not get in trouble with online stalkers if she wasn’t nursing her issues in cyberspace with terrible decisions. Emma could not find her homicidal tendencies if she did not suffer the consequences of shallow dating practices. Not only are my characters built on their annoying faults but so are the plots.

So what do YOU need in your characters? Do you need “good” people? Do you need to relate to and understand the characters to care about them? What makes a character work for you?

Who are your favorite unsympathetic protagonists? The best train wrecks from whom you cannot look away? If you like flawed characters, I clearly have a few to offer you…

Christina Bergling

https://linktr.ee/chrstnabergling

Like my writing? Check out my books!

  • Followers – You never know who is on the other side of the screen. Followers is a mystery and thriller that blends women’s fiction with horror.
  • The Rest Will Come – Online dating would drive anyone to murder, especially Emma.
  • Savages – Two survivors search the ruins for the last strain of humanity. Until the discovery of a baby changes everything.
  • The Waning – Locked in a cage, Beatrix must survive to escape or be broken completely.
  • Screechers – Mutant monsters and humans collide in the apocalyptic fallout of a burned world. Co-authored with Kevin J. Kennedy.
  • Horror Anthologies

Crossroads

Posted: March 28, 2022 in writing
Tags: , , , ,

I find myself at a crossroads with my writing. Three options, three projects lay before me. Likely, I will eventually pursue all three, but each are deep and labor-intensive. I need to decide where to allocate my energy. I need to determine priority and select a focus.

The Not-Done Novel

After Followers, I quickly completed a new novel. And, for the first time, the story was not in the horror genre. Problematically, that left me completely disorientated on genre.

I drafted the book, revised it, worked it through beta readers, polished it. Then I decided it would be the first book I would query to agents to get published.

I got rejected by 50 agents. (Ouch.)

Clearly, something was wrong with the submission–either the query or the story, or both.

I decided the best way to troubleshoot would be to engage an editor, which, in hindsight, I honestly should have done before querying. I have worked with editors during the publication of all of my previous novels. However, this was my first editing experience pre-publishing contract.

The editor’s decimated the book I thought I was complete (a whole other post on that). To summarize: rewrite. Now, I am left with substantial substantive changes to make.

These proposed modifications present me with the opportunity to return to the world I built and the characters I created. I loved living in them during the initial creation and edits. I could break apart my story and puzzle the pieces into a new configuration. While daunting, I am inspired and challenged by some of these possibilities.

Ideas are perculating.

The Therapy Project

Last NaNoWriMo, I ventured into fan fiction to resuscitate my love for writing. I was able to locate my spark and also complete a short novel in the Scream universe.

The story remains where I left it after the sprinting first draft, so it is still quite raw. But now, what to do with it?

There will never be any formal publication. Do I let it wither and die in a file in some subfolder on my hard drive? Do I give it a polish and post it in serials on my blog?

My inclination is, of course, to release it. To do so, I would need time to clean it up and prepare it, especially through the lens of the latest chapter in the movie franchise. I also would love to have some art to post with it.

The Shiny New Toy

Shiny! So shiny. The new project is usually the most seductive and compelling.

I wrote about Scream in November to loosen my inspiration after all the rejection of my new novel (and life drama). It worked, and a new story idea surfaced between my lumpy grey lobes.

I have been massaging this story slowly over the past few months. Outlining and throwing down words when I feel like it. No pressure compared to how I usually work.

The story is not pouring out of me like some are want to do (Savages, “Freaks”, some of The Rest Will Come, “Malignant”, “Santa’s Workshop”…). However, it does take shape and flow nicely once I hit my stride. I am straddling between a planned outline and winging it. I know where I want to go, and the details are sharpening as I meander through the scenes.

I am allowing myself to establish the foundation in a broad stroke before painting in the finer points. This is how it always works, yet I am being more deliberate about skimming through the first pass this time, getting the basics established to build on. We will see how the strategy plays out.

The writing has been no pressure and pleasant. I enjoy building the world and forming the characters. Writing fresh is always my favorite part of the process. Obviously, this is the most appealing option, so equally obviously, it is the one least advantageous to pursue first.

The Direction

So which way to go? The arduous journey of reworking an entire book? The stalling edit that would yield a series of blog posts? The fresh and new story just getting started?

My heart, speaking based on what I enjoy the most, would say 1. new story, 2. fan fiction posts, 3. novel rewrite. However, my brain, considering what would be smartest and most productive or advantageous would say the complete opposite.

I think I have settled on the following (tentative) plan as a compromise, favoring the pragmatic brain:

  • Get to the next milestone in the new story
  • Outline the restructure of the rewrite novel
  • Restructure the rewrite novel and write new scenes
  • While rewrite novel cools, edit fan fiction novel
  • Post fan fiction novel
  • Edit rewrite novel
  • Return to new story

I get a little of everything I want and continue moving forward. Will it work? Maybe. Will I stick to the plan? Maybe not. But it is worth a try. It is better to have three options than none.

Christina Bergling

https://linktr.ee/chrstnabergling

Like my writing? Check out my books!

  • Followers – You never know who is on the other side of the screen. Followers is a mystery and thriller that blends women’s fiction with horror.
  • The Rest Will Come – Online dating would drive anyone to murder, especially Emma.
  • Savages – Two survivors search the ruins for the last strain of humanity. Until the discovery of a baby changes everything.
  • The Waning – Locked in a cage, Beatrix must survive to escape or be broken completely.
  • Screechers – Mutant monsters and humans collide in the apocalyptic fallout of a burned world. Co-authored with Kevin J. Kennedy.
  • Horror Anthologies

On Being Edited

Posted: March 9, 2022 in writing
Tags: , , , , , ,

So after Followers and during a pandemic, I wrote another novel. Spawned from a blend of world events and inspiration from random history articles, this story took me out of the horror genre for the first time since I started publishing my work. This story also flowed out of me like Savages, and I felt very strong about it. When I started editing and reworking it, I didn’t change much.

Insert red flag.

Then, when I thought it was ready, it got universally rejected. I know every parent thinks their baby is adorable, but even I could understand that this meant something was wrong with my creation. So, for the first time, I turned to an independent editor outside a publishing house.

I have worked with editors before (on all my published works), and I always use beta readers in my drafting process. Yet this is the first time I have interacted with the editor prior to the submission acceptance and outside the publishing process. Call it a new author experience for me. My authoring career is evolving, and I can hitch this on to the dreadful agent querying process.

My book clearly needed help, so I asked around and got recommendations for an independent editor. I sent her my raw, trembling, little baby, and she (and an associate) went through it before providing me an editorial letter of feedback. Standard process, as I understand it.

OUCH!

It is what I asked for. It is what I needed. But damn, it stung.

With my previous books and stories and my other editors, we have worked my pieces over very collaboratively. However, they have never ripped any apart or suggested severe rewrites. In short, I have been spoiled. I have been pushing my boulders up gentle hills and have just now encountered my first mountain.

Currently, I am in the “processing the feedback” stage. I have the editorial letter, and I am digesting the many ideas therein. Next, I will meet with the editor(s) to discuss and brainstorm. Then the fork in the road–what to do? I will need to decide whether to pursue the story, and if I do, I determine what changes to make to it.

Insert heavy sigh weighed down by how daunting this all seems. Didn’t I just finish this book?

My initial emotional reaction was, with so much feedback, was there was anything redemptive in my book? If the plot and the characters and the names and everything need to change, is the story even worth salvaging? Is it really only the idea that survives? Honestly, these insecure pangs still nibble at the back of my brain as I mull it over.

As I am processing the ideas and they are cooling, the sharp edges are blunting. The looming shadows are scaling down so they no longer blot out the sun and I can see over them. Critiques are gradually reshaping into possibilities. If I can remain pragmatic, I can use this arrangement as intended to improve and evolve my story, to level it up into something an agent will accept.

This is not my first critique and far from my most brutal. This is not new territory. However, I feel like I have been coasting for a while, sneaking by in a sweet spot that did not force me to confront my shortcomings.

As I type this, I know that is what I need to do and also what I will end up doing. My feelings have just not caught up yet. My emotions are wounded and tangled on any part that hurts. Based on rejection on so many other fronts, this just seems to deepen the wound. My brain seeks out the confirmation for the pain. As I work my way through it with this words, I see that what I feel isn’t even really about the book or the editorial feedback.

I had finally pulled myself out of a writing slump and dumped myself into a new story. This has knocked me out of that groove. This has me questioning my writing, my quality.

Unfounded, I know. This is part of it, I know. But feelings are feelings.

I need to remember that I do not always need to be accomplishing something. I can rewrite my novel at my leisure. There is no deadline. I can return to my new WIP whenever I want. It is not going anywhere. It is OK to take the time and take the breaks. It is better to get it right and make it better. I do not understand my own urgency, but I need to undo it.

Deep breath… Next step…

Christina Bergling

https://linktr.ee/chrstnabergling

Like my writing? Check out my books!

  • Followers – You never know who is on the other side of the screen. Followers is a mystery and thriller that blends women’s fiction with horror.
  • The Rest Will Come – Online dating would drive anyone to murder, especially Emma.
  • Savages – Two survivors search the ruins for the last strain of humanity. Until the discovery of a baby changes everything.
  • The Waning – Locked in a cage, Beatrix must survive to escape or be broken completely.
  • Screechers – Mutant monsters and humans collide in the apocalyptic fallout of a burned world. Co-authored with Kevin J. Kennedy.
  • Horror Anthologies

One more horror with heart. My latest book Followers! Sidney collects admirers online, yet when they show up in her real life, not all of them want to love her.

You can find Followers on Amazon.

Christina Bergling

https://linktr.ee/chrstnabergling

Like my writing? Check out my books!

  • Followers – You never know who is on the other side of the screen. Followers is a mystery and thriller that blends women’s fiction with horror.
  • The Rest Will Come – Online dating would drive anyone to murder, especially Emma.
  • Savages – Two survivors search the ruins for the last strain of humanity. Until the discovery of a baby changes everything.
  • The Waning – Locked in a cage, Beatrix must survive to escape or be broken completely.
  • Screechers – Mutant monsters and humans collide in the apocalyptic fallout of a burned world. Co-authored with Kevin J. Kennedy.
  • Horror Anthologies

Back with more horror with heart, we come to my first book, Savages. With potentially the last two survivors of the apocalypse, there’s bound to be some tensions. Enjoy this little snippet.

But you don’t have to listen to me read this, SAVAGES has an audiobook with a much better narrator! Find it on Amazon.

Christina Bergling

https://linktr.ee/chrstnabergling

Like my writing? Check out my books!

  • Followers – You never know who is on the other side of the screen. Followers is a mystery and thriller that blends women’s fiction with horror.
  • The Rest Will Come – Online dating would drive anyone to murder, especially Emma.
  • Savages – Two survivors search the ruins for the last strain of humanity. Until the discovery of a baby changes everything.
  • The Waning – Locked in a cage, Beatrix must survive to escape or be broken completely.
  • Screechers – Mutant monsters and humans collide in the apocalyptic fallout of a burned world. Co-authored with Kevin J. Kennedy.
  • Horror Anthologies

What gets anyone in the mood more than serial murder? All those true crime documentaries and podcasts have to be trending for a reason…

Hate Valentine’s Day and dating as much as me? I never really even bothered. Then The Rest Will Come might be for you!

Romance turns into the horror as Emma obsessively searches for her one. A search that drives her to murder.

Enjoy this little tidbit from The Rest Will Come.

Christina Bergling

https://linktr.ee/chrstnabergling

Like my writing? Check out my books!

  • Followers – You never know who is on the other side of the screen. Followers is a mystery and thriller that blends women’s fiction with horror.
  • The Rest Will Come – Online dating would drive anyone to murder, especially Emma.
  • Savages – Two survivors search the ruins for the last strain of humanity. Until the discovery of a baby changes everything.
  • The Waning – Locked in a cage, Beatrix must survive to escape or be broken completely.
  • Screechers – Mutant monsters and humans collide in the apocalyptic fallout of a burned world. Co-authored with Kevin J. Kennedy.
  • Horror Anthologies

“Did you miss me?” she said into the abyss.

I have been out of it as far as writing, posting, connecting. What happened to me?

Christina Bergling

https://linktr.ee/chrstnabergling

Like my writing? Check out my books!

  • Followers – You never know who is on the other side of the screen. Followers is a mystery and thriller that blends women’s fiction with horror.
  • The Rest Will Come – Online dating would drive anyone to murder, especially Emma.
  • Savages – Two survivors search the ruins for the last strain of humanity. Until the discovery of a baby changes everything.
  • The Waning – Locked in a cage, Beatrix must survive to escape or be broken completely.
  • Screechers – Mutant monsters and humans collide in the apocalyptic fallout of a burned world. Co-authored with Kevin J. Kennedy.
  • Horror Anthologies

A New WIP

Posted: January 20, 2022 in writing
Tags: , , ,

Starting a new story or a new project is like dating someone new. The process is fresh and unencumbered. It is pure and charged with infatuation. The story may linger in your mind each day like the traces of a new lover from the night before who carved new pathways on your nerves.

You want to live with that story, spent every waking moment staring into its very soul, even though you’ve only just met. Through the sleek, glowing filter of fascination, your story is perfection–no holes, no rough edges. It fills your mind, so it must saturate the page just as easily.

In that fleeting and torrid introduction, things can be simple.

Then reality creeps up behind you, casting a shadow over you, blotting out that rosy aura around your story. The words cool on the page long enough to crystalize into disfigured shapes. The hard edges require polishing. Business and purpose trail on the heels of reality, pushing incessant whispers of all that needs to be done.

Weight packs into your arms as you massage the words, into your head as you work and rework the plot holes. The light around your story flickers and dims, exposing the withered creature as it reduces down to black letters on a glowing page. A fascinating place becomes a jumble of nouns and verbs and too many adjectives.

You read the words over and over until they lose all meaning, until you have run the line of the story in your brain smooth. Then they bind the words and say it has finally taken on a life of its own.

***

After fan fiction therapy in November, I have started an original novel again. Though I have written a short or two, I have not worked on a book since Green Eyes, and querying Green Eyes and releasing Followers took a toll on my inspiration.

Yet that gap has given me more appreciation for this honeymoon stage of creation. Writing is, after all, my favorite part of writing. After losing my way for a depressive bit, I am happy to wallow in this phase for a while.

What am I writing? Well, all I will say is I am back to my horror genre…

Christina Bergling

https://linktr.ee/chrstnabergling

Like my writing? Check out my books!

  • Followers – You never know who is on the other side of the screen. Followers is a mystery and thriller that blends women’s fiction with horror.
  • The Rest Will Come – Online dating would drive anyone to murder, especially Emma.
  • Savages – Two survivors search the ruins for the last strain of humanity. Until the discovery of a baby changes everything.
  • The Waning – Locked in a cage, Beatrix must survive to escape or be broken completely.
  • Screechers – Mutant monsters and humans collide in the apocalyptic fallout of a burned world. Co-authored with Kevin J. Kennedy.
  • Horror Anthologies

I don’t know how I feel about summarizing this past year–2021. In some bizarre time anomaly that is the current state of things, it simultaneously feels like I was just reluctantly typing my 2020 in Review and as if 2021 alone spanned five normal years. I am not sure how time can sprint by in a blur while raking in painful slow motion. Yet, here we are.

2020 was simple and easy to review. It was shit. 2021, however, was more complicated as so much continued to be messy and challenging while other components attempted to limp back toward “normalcy.” I found myself weak and damaged.

Floundering is a good word that comes to mind. Yet I did flounder through, and when I look back from a more pragmatic hindsight, I can see progress, accomplishments, and healing mingled with my struggles.

When I compare 2021 to 2020, I can truly appreciate the highlights. Right now (and in this post), I am choosing to focus on the highlights.

Followers Release

Perhaps the largest highlight of my year was the release of my fifth book, Followers, by Crystal Lake Publishing.

Crystal Lake Publishing was a pleasure to work with, especially in challenging times when I could not celebrate or promote a new novel in ways I have in previous years.

Followers is a novel that allowed me to question and play with themes and concepts that have come up during my time in the horror genre. It also got me to stretch and grow writer muscles. I feel like I took a step forward with this book. And it makes me want to take another. (I think I did with my yet unpublished WIP, and I stand poised for another with the next I plan to start.)

Publication is always an accomplishment for an author.

Telluride Horror Show

Telluride Horror Show was back in person this year! Vaccinated and masked but in Telluride!

After traveling next to none in more than a year prior, it felt so good to go somewhere. It was comforting to be in one of my favorite places. Even with the precautions, the event maintained itself. Most of the festivities were able to happen unchanged or simply migrated outdoors.

There was no more appropriate time to go than right after releasing Followers since I included the Telluride Horror Show in the book. While writing and editing and reading and re-reading Followers, I had been dying to walk to streets of Telluride again.

It was the vacation I needed.

And of course, we snuck in an amazing winter hike. Because one cannot survive on horror movies and booze alone… right?

NaNoWriMo

Yes, I returned to the challenge, the torment, the sprint for a second year. Last year, I used the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo – 50,000 words in one month) challenge to complete my novel Green Eyes. A novel I am still working and querying a year later.

This year, I was struggling with my relationship with the craft. I wanted to use NaNoWriMo to find my way back to my passion for writing. I wanted to strip away all the collateral parts of writing–the querying and editing and publishing and promoting and marketing–and return to just the act itself. So I turned to a genre I have never attempted, fan fiction.

Fan fiction can never be published for profit, due to copyright infringement. Since I could never do anything with the story, there was no pressure in writing it, just the creation of the story, just the pure act.

So I took my first and one of my favorite horror movies: Scream. I focused on the original movie from the perspective of the killers, with some before and after. I watched Scream a bunch of times and combed through the script. It was an experience, and it accomplished the goal.

I don’t know that I’ll ever do anything with Father Death. I have mused on polishing it up and posting it to this blog. However, it was fun to compose and brought me back to wanting to write again.

Now, I just have to wait and see how it aligns with Scream 5.

High School Speaking

Odd and out of character, one of my favorite author things to do is speak at schools. During lockdown, I even did it over Zoom. But I did miss it, especially during spooky season when everyone wants to talk about horror.

This fall, I got to return to one high school and talk to classes all day long. There were a lot of masks and distance involved, and the pandemic has definitely changed how students behave and interact, but I loved it just the same.

At these sessions, one of the teachers read one of my pieces to the auditorium. It was multiple layers of surreal. Reading my own work aloud is always a trip, but having another person read as I listened and watched the reactions added another layer.

It was not the same as when I have visited before the pandemic, but the world is not the same. We cannot expect things to snap back when years have passed and so much has happened. So instead of noting the differences, I appreciate how fun it was.

Metal Fusion Dancing

One thing that is better, that I do more of since the pandemic is performing, which seems odd. My metal fusion dancing is unrelated to writing. However, it does share a lineage with my love of horror. I often include horror themes, props, or imagery in my performances. For example, Pennywise or fake blood.

I used to dance and perform constantly with my troupe in Tennessee/Georgia. However, it has been slow returning to the activity since moving home to Colorado. I began finally dabbling and finding my way back to the stage preceding the pandemic and lockdowns. Yet as things have opened back up, I have found more opportunities, producers, and shows. I am seeing more traction.

I also continued to dance with my Southern troupe over Zoom and joined an online metal collective. So dance is firmly rooted back in my life.

Onward…

It would be inauthentic to gloss over the depths of my depression in the past year or the ripples my struggles are still sending through my days. However, that darkness does not mean the entire year has been dark. There were plenty of highlights and joy. The best way to keep my head above the waves is to keep my eyes on those points of light and remember the tide will swell and recede.

So it is onward into another year. No resolutions. No expectations. Just the ambition and hope to continue progress and recovery and hopefully grow the ratio of highlights versus darkness.

Christina Bergling

https://linktr.ee/chrstnabergling

Holy hell, November is over. Wasn’t it just Halloween? Wait, wasn’t it just summer? Or last November? I’m still in some sort of pandemic time warp where time simultaneously flies by yet drags on. How can it be both?

This year, I arrived at November beaten and bruised (mostly psychologically). I decided that November needed to be a self-care month. Part of my anguish centered around my writing career. I was struggling with finding my passion buried under marketing and promoting and querying and the general business of being a writer. I determined I would participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo – a challenge to write 50,000 words in November) for the second time. However, I would use it differently this year.

For my inaugural year of NaNoWriMo, I used last November to complete my WIP novel, Green Eyes. The goal and accountability kept me very motivated and on track, and I did finish the draft of my book. That book now stresses me out as I attempt to query it to agents.

This year, the prospect of what happens after the writing had been weighing on me. Editing and submitting and publishing and promoting and selling. I wanted to get back to the writing, so I targeted NaNoWriMo to just be about the writing. Inspiration handed me the solution. I had my very first idea for a fan fiction piece.

Fan fiction can never be published for profit since the characters are copyrighted. I would never have to worry about submitting or querying it for publication and release. I could write in my little sandbox, and it never needed to go farther than that. I supposed that could be true about any piece, yet with fan fiction, I would never be able to talk myself into more.

So I wrote 50,000 words just to write 50,000 words. I wrote fan fiction just to play and try it out. It was fun. It was liberating. It was no pressure. I even learned some things. In short, it served the purpose I wanted.

For my project, I decided to write within the Scream universe. It seemed fitting to dabble in fan fiction there since it was my first horror movie, where my love affair began.

My story is basically the first movie but centered on Billy Loomis and Stu Macher. It also includes some before the events of the movie and some after. Spoiler alert: Billy and Stu are the killers, so the story details how they decided to start killing people, how they selected their victims, how they constructed their plan, the logistics of how the pulled off the events of the film, and what I think happened after the credits.

To accomplish this story, I wanted to remain loyal to Scream, merely augment it with additional perspectives, give it more depth and explanation. To do this, I watched Scream probably ten times in stuttering 2-5 minute increments.

Then I also found the movie script online to lift necessary dialog. This was a true learning experience. I am not familiar with script writing. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen or read a real script. I am, however, pretty familiar with the film, so it was a trip to see it captured on the page. Where the actors adlibbed or followed the lines. How much is scripted versus directed. These are things I never knew or appreciated.

So I spent the month just writing and living inside one of my favorite movies.

Is it any good? I have no idea. No one has read it yet, including me. What will I do with it? I honestly have no idea. Perhaps I wrote it just for me. Maybe it was just a writing exercise to get my creative juices flowing and my passion rekindled. Or perhaps I will put it out on this blog for free, which is about all I can do with fan fiction.

What do you think? What should become of my little pet project?

While I was not as successful on the rest of self-care November, my NaNoWriMo project did the job. I feel refreshed to approach Green Eyes again. I also have a new original novel idea. Then I have five existing books out there to sell!

Christina Bergling

https://linktr.ee/chrstnabergling