Friday, October 26, 2012

Barbie's Bunkhouse: Shifting to the dark side

Happy Friday everyone!! I've had an interesting challenge placed before me and I'm actually a bit excited to give it a try. For all of my writing career I've written what we call "light and fluffy" stories. You know, basically contemporary reads with a bit of humor or sarcasm thrown in. Fun books! Occasionally I've been known to add in a suspenseful moment here and there (my original love was romantic suspense). That's why I like the cozy mysteries, because I can kind of get the best of everything. Fun, maybe even romantic moments (gotta have the love interest) mixed with the whole "who-dunnit". You close the door on sex so I don't have to worry about my Aunt Shirley reading my book and freaking out. And my romances are still very much light and fun but have more sexual tension and of course, they openly have sex (Yes!). Then again, it's all about the romance on that end.

But my mission should I choose to accept it (and I have) is to go to the dark side. Now, before you all scream "No, Barbie! Don't go there!", take a deep breath because it's okay. We all have a dark side. C'mon, admit it. Road rage, check out line fury, co-worker murder plotting.... we've all been there at one time or another. Those moments are just our dark sides letting us know they exist. Now, how we react and what we do with this knowledge is totally up to each individual.  But what happens if you connect with your inner dark self?


Sit back and listen, because Barbie knows best. Once when I was writing a YA novel, I had a fallen angel as my antagonist. He was dark, but I needed to make him darker. So every scene that was in his pov, I seriously overhauled. Oh, mama, lock up your children because by the time I was done he was the most evil, twisted person I had ever written. I'd lived in what my CP and I call "Bunnyland" (the land of light and funny) for so long, I couldn't believe I had this stuff inside me! Some scenes I'd actually scared myself! I'm not kidding. The things I had this guy do were just...just....ewww!!!! When the story was finally finished I had to take three months off from writing because all of that dark stuff took so much out of me to write. I was emotionally and mentally drained, I kid you not! As it turned out, those scenes were so riveting, the rest of the book with the hero and heroine seemed to fall flat in comparison. So while I was recovering from the darkness, I jumped into other projects but at least I knew what I'd have to do should I go back to that story someday.

Now the darkness is calling. Maybe it's the spooky Halloween atmosphere, I'm not sure. As I contemplate my challenge, I'm beginning to realize there's an alter-ego inside me waiting to be let loose. There's some sick, twisted stuff swirling around in my head waiting for the perfect plot, the perfect characters. I just might have to channel the things that really scare me (except Russian exorcisms. We will NEVER go there again). If I pull this off, I'm thinking I could have a best seller on my hands! Although I'd totally have to change my name (as if I don't already have enough pseudonyms).

It's like we've talked about here on M&M before. If you don't try to step out of your comfort zone once in a while, you might miss an opportunity. In my case, the creepy old door just swung open and it's pitch black inside. Excuse me while I grab my rosary and find some holy water....I'm going in!!

Have a great weekend! For all of our readers along the East Coast, please stay safe as Hurricane Sandy makes her way through! We were headed to Long Island to visit colleges with my son, but may very well be changing our plans!

2 comments:

Liz Lipperman said...

Wow! A dark Barbie. Tell us more.

Barbie Jo Mahoney said...

ha ha! I know, it just doesn't seem right, does it? While off the top of my head I'm thinking "no way can I write something dark and scary" there's this part of me that thinks it might be fun to let loose and write something completely out of the box for me.

I'm trying to read through a partial of my Time Travel to give to Christine. Then I'm going to start putting all of my dark ideas down on paper and see which one sticks! I've got some doozies, too.

I'm telling you, I kind of scare myself! LOL. Just promise me you all won't judge me if I come up with something really, really freaky and twisted.