My Little Shopping of Horrors by Maggie Innes

JANUARY 2017
TO DO – discuss origins of my Twisted Little Sister story, SHOPPING, for the Create50 blog. 

 

(NB Make it interesting)  ***  OR AT LEAST TRY!!! ***

SHOPPING INGREDIENTS (a) – from life

  • I once saw CCTV footage of a guy who had murdered his teenage sister – he and his girlfriend were shopping in B&Q or similar for black bags, duct tape, a circular saw – equipment to dismember and dispose of the body. 
  • It was horrific yet mundane.  A trolley load of evil.  Really hit me.
  • Did they sit down and work out exactly what they needed for the task?  (NB Maybe even make a list?)

SHOPPING INGREDIENTS  (b) – from me

  • I’m fascinated by psychology – the good, the bad and the ugly.
  • Imagine how super-organised psychopaths, pedophiles have to be.  They really have to PLAN.  They’re smart and scheming and to be successful they have to stay one step ahead.  (NB Maybe even make a list?)
  • ALSO You can tell such a lot about people by what they buy – I can’t be the only one gripped by other people’s baskets at the checkout. (?????)

…FLASH BACK TO…

LATE NOVEMBER 2015
(NB Context:  I’m trying to enter Twisted 50!!)

MY AIMS:

  1. Write a really short story – as a challenge, but also (hopefully) fun.  Proving tough to think of something original.  (NB Maybe should have made a list?)
  2. Write a story that leaves a lot of gaps - white space for readers to [  …   ] (Flex those fertile imaginations!)  
  3. Scare myself!  Write something sick and unpleasant.  And keep on going, don’t pull back!   (Silence a lingering irritating voice that keeps insisting “Be nice.”)

…DEADLINE LOOMS… (still nothing)

AND FINALLY!!!  I go to sleep and wake up with the story (NB actually it’s a LIST!) that is Shopping.  Deadline is seconds away when press “SUBMIT” or I might have found a more gripping title.  (Maybe even made…a you-know-what)

That’s how my stories seem to create themselves, invisible entities that gather and grumble and mutate under the surface and suddenly burst out, fully formed.  Like lancing a boil.  A lot of thinking – a helluva lot, sometimes – but the writing, at least at first draft stage, is fast and a bit of a fugue state.  It just happens.  I put it down to having three kids and writing around them, to deadlines, for years.

But everybody’s process is different – what’s yours?  I’d love to hear about it.

 

Maggie Innes.

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