This one was simple in its gestation but tricky in its execution.
I dreamed of playing the guitar on stage and improvising a song, using the audience for inspiration. It was magical.
I wanted to capture some of that magic. All I had to do was figure out what the story was.
At first, I wanted to write a character that was so thoroughly unlikeable, someone that would not and could not be sympathised with in any way. Someone whose one redeeming feature was the skill, grace and beauty that they used when playing the guitar. I wanted the reader to ask themselves: how could such a shitty human play so well?
It wouldn’t work. Samuel refused to be that person. He wouldn’t do the dislikable things I wanted him to. I tried lots of different situations for him to show his despicable nature. None of it worked. It just didn’t ring true.
Instead, Samual brought his own character to the story: he showed his anxiety, his fear, his desire for Lilly, and his desperation to be liked by Kris.
It’s a better story for it.
- Published in jamscary.com (July 10th 2022)