Happy November All!
As you know, I don’t want this blog to be only about MOI…I mean I hope you want to read about my artwork & what new projects I’m working on, but let’s face it, people like diversity and I enjoy meeting new, creative people so I’ve been having many guest bloggers here discussing their art forms. Here’s my latest guest, horror/dark fantasy writer Marcus Twyman. We met on LinkedIn and due to similar interests, decided it’d be fun to blog on each other’s sites, so take it away Marcus!
First and foremost, thank you Lauren for allowing me to guest blog today. I hope I keep your readers entertained, and look forward to introducing myself and my writing to them.
I have been asked about what inspires me to write about the darker realms of reality and fiction on many occasions, and I believe that my answer is probably similar to that of most other writers’ who write on the same topics as myself. I firmly believe that writing, artwork, songwriting/singing all reflect an individual’s personal life challenges and experiences on some level. I mean, how could life not inspire one’s creativity? The way I see darkness is not how people who’ve only heard about the ugly side of life do. They make assumptions and I paint a reality. Yes, it’s a reality coated in fiction, but the “feelings” are true – real.
When I was younger, I went through several huge events that changed my life. Anger, fear, depression, and hate clouded my mind – made me shun the world. I remember feeling like I was overflowing with these emotions. My days were spent trying to balance the turmoil that lived inside of me with the demands of normal, everyday, life. This was a battle that I was losing, so I decided to do something about it.
I knew that I was a strong person, someone that could overcome anything that life threw at them, all I had to do was figure out how.
I still remember sitting in class one day (High School geometry, yuck!) and feeling a tidal wave of emotion start to pull me under. The last thing I wanted to do was break down in the middle of class and have my peers witness my insecurities and try to explain away the “why” of my mood, so I started writing.
Words streamed out of my subconscious and pretty soon I was staring at a page full of lyrics…a song about someone in my life that I cared about. The song was entitled “August Wind”. This is how I learned to control my feelings – my spontaneous outbreaks.
I kept writing songs and eventually my writing grew more elaborate…more defined. My short sentences began to take on more life, filling my pages with raw emotion and character driven scenes. That’s when I began to write stories.
I guess my inspiration came from a necessity rather than a muse. Writing became part of my life – a pillar that I could lean on in the hard times.
As far as visualizing and actually creating an idea or concept, I really don’t put too much effort into it. It’s very strange. Sometimes I’ll hear something while going about my day that will entice a story to begin formulating in my mind. Sometimes I’ll see something that will spark an idea in my head that will start to nag at me and demand to be written.
When I begin to build on a concept or idea, I actually focus more on dialogue before “painting” the scene. In my head I know where my characters are, I understand what they’re doing, but when it comes to what they’re saying, my mind hears the conversation like the characters are talking right in front of me. I usually find myself holding conversations with the characters (I know that sounds crazy) so that I can make sure that what they’re saying sounds “real”. In my opinion, there’s nothing worse than reading a screenplay or manuscript that sounds flat and unrealistic. If my characters are angry, they cuss. If they’re terrified, they may babble incoherently or stutter. There has to be a touch of reality in not just my characters, but the story as well.
I guess that to be a little more specific, I tend to visualize the concept/story as I go. I know what direction I’m going to take the story in, but I don’t really know what’s going to transpire between the manuscript’s cast in order to get there.
Many people tend to wonder why dark themes and undertones seem to always find a home in my writing. As I stated earlier, my early years were filled with a lot of pain and darkness…most of my early memories are filled with darkness, so I guess it translates readily into my writing. I don’t usually write to showcase just the “ugly” parts of life though. I write about the dark and pain so that the beauty and the love are highlighted and coveted by my readers. When you read something that is a blend of emotions, you begin to make the story personal – you start to “relate” to the characters and their situations. To me, a book where the characters are struggling with the same emotions as I am tends to hold my attention and demands a reaction that’s emotional and true. I walk away feeling like I’ve just experienced something myself, not like I just read a book.
As far as some things that I’m looking forward to working on, a “dream project” if you will, I have an idea that’s been nibbling away at my mind for quite some time.
My dream project would be to create a kind of hybrid anthology-scrapbook. I would love to fill it with my poetry, drawings, pictures, and short stories. It would be like a journal – like a piece of me that I would be sharing with the world. That would be my dream project. I would love to fill it with the wonderful and the horrible – I’d want to format it in a kind of timeline consistent with the events that occurred throughout my life.
Please keep in mind that I always enjoy having people give me feedback on my writing and appreciate their input. I noticed that my genre(s) tend to be occupied by a lot of women right now, so I tend to write from a guy’s point of view and (as stated in a query letter reply I received from an agent) this tends to not fit in with what’s circulating in the “market” as of right now. Urban Fantasy, Dark Fantasy; these are strongholds for female authors and I have to work a little harder to get my material heard and appreciated by a largely female audience, which I don’t mind. If anything, I feel like this only prepares me for success.
What I usually ask my readers to do is, if they like what they read, go to my facebook fanpage and follow/“like” it. This helps spread the word and create a grapevine through which my work can get viewed and appreciated by other individuals that share my readers’ tastes. I also welcome readers to follow my blog at www.marcustwyman.com so that they can read my latest stories and watch my vlogs. I’m trying to build a small community of like-minded people who share my love for reading, writing, and enjoying fantasy and horror fiction.
I’m currently working on the second “Khet Chronicles” installment and am shopping the first book to agents and publishers, so keep checking in on me so that you’re current on the most recent news and information.
Lauren, I just want to thank you for allowing me to guest blog on your site and I want to make sure that people also go and check out your artwork. It’s very unique and carries some really cool, dark, undertones.
Thank you once again, and remember to reach out to me with any questions you may have or to just talk about writing.