And I have realized something about myself.
I tend to avoid Bleak. Or, when I do write it, I tend to write it with a hopeful ending suggesting that things are actually getting better even if they aren’t entirely resolved yet.
And I think I understand why I do that now.
See… Writing is magic.
It’s magic for a whole wack of reasons from the historical (wait, you can actually tell me the words that someone else said in a different place and/or time… by looking at those funny little marks…? Woah…) to the literal (I’m a witch. I use writing in spell-craft all the time) to the figurative (stories are a way of showing the world the way we want it to be, or the way it is but that nobody wants to admit) and on and on.
I have just discovered that the reason Bleak freaks me out so much – the reason my girlfriend’s tales of terrifyingly distopian (and terrifyingly possible) near-futures get me so worked up and uncomfortable – is that writing makes it true.
For some part of me, imagining something thus gives it a little more power to become real.
Which is great if your working on a spell to get you the book-deal of your dreams.
But is not so great if you’re trying to write an interesting and gripping story when all you really want to do is have your characters be safe and live happily ever after.
Well, at least I know that now. Maybe I can work around it when I’m dealing with fiction? Here’s hoping.