I’m very excited today to welcome fellow darkstroke author, Richard E Rock, to talk about his writing motivations.
Thank you, Jo, for inviting me to feature in your wonderful blog and talk about why I write.
Very simply, it’s because I have stories in me that need to come out. I frequently experience very vivid nightmares and anxiety dreams and these form the basis of all the tales I compose. But it wasn’t always this way.
I, like pretty much everyone else, used to dread having bad dreams and would wake up from them relieved that it was all over. But then I discovered the joys of creative writing and I realised that these terrible dreams were not something to be feared but instead embraced. These were ideas coming through to me raw and unfiltered, untouched by reason and untainted by logic. And in creative writing, the idea is everything.
I am lucky enough to be a writer by profession. By day I work as a commercial scriptwriter in the radio industry and also contribute ideas to Viz Comic. Obviously, writing 30-second radio scripts and writing novels are two completely different disciplines, but there is one way in which one benefits the other.
In writing, it is repeated ad infinitum that we should make every word count, and in my job I do little else. When I have an idea for a commercial and get it down on paper, most of my time will then be spent working it down into a workable 30-second script. Basically, it’s taught me to become a rather brutal self-editor, and that’s something that carries over into my creative writing.
But in addition to the craft there needs to be magic. That happens when I start to create a character and then, at a certain point, they take over and start developing themselves. Whatever plans I had for them go out the window and they start telling me what their hopes are, what their fears are and what music they like, and not the other around.
And the same can be said for creating the story. It’s an organic process. I never dream in stories, I dream in situations, but I write them down as they come and try to add them together to see if they become something greater. Sometimes they do, and that’s when these few seeds grow into something alive and self-perpetuating. New vistas will be opened up to me and I’ll be able to see new avenues to lead my characters down, new challenges to throw at them. That’s the excitement of writing novels and it’s what keeps pulling me back.
I get the same buzz from being immersed in a good novel. When I’m in someone else’s world, time no longer progresses at a fixed rate. It speeds by according to its own laws and I’ll emerge hours later convinced I’ve only been reading for half an hour or so. When I eventually reach the end of the book I’ll go back and take a closer look at the author’s technique. How does he or she start and end a chapter? How are characters introduced? Do sentences become shorter as tension is ratcheted up? And then, fizzing with inspiration, I’ll hit the keyboard again, keen to exercise all the little lessons I’ve just learned.
Creativity begets creativity. I truly believe that.
Last year my debut horror novel Deep Level was published by Darkstroke Books. To be able to hold in my hand the culmination of a lifetime of reading and several months of writing, researching and refining is an extraordinary feeling. Dreams are transient but books last forever, and as long as the dreams keep coming I’ll keep writing them down. Be assured that many more fantastic journeys await.
About the Author:
By day, Richard E. Rock works as a commercial scriptwriter for radio and contributes ideas to Viz Comic. But by night…he writes horror.
He was inspired to do this after experiencing a series of particularly ferocious nightmares. After waking up and realising he could turn these into utterly horrible stories, he started deliberately inducing them.
His debut horror novel DEEP LEVEL was published in 2020 by Darkstroke Books.
Based in Wales, he lives with his girlfriend and their cat. If you’re looking for him, you’ll probably find him wedged up against the barrier at a heavy metal gig, for that is his natural habitat.
You can find Richard on social media at:
Deep Level is available from Amazon at: https://t.co/u6SoL1tbB4?amp=1