I have been thinking for a while about what makes people the people they are, not for any reason, just when I am bored at work I tend to have pointlessly deep philosophical thoughts, and then I started thinking about what inspires me to write like I do and I have to say that my inspirations are rather a mixed bag, my tastes in everything from music to entertainment to sexual preference having changed quite a bit in twenty years. I would have to say that the first thing I remember that inspired me to write was probably the film Jaws, or at least sharks in general. That dates back to primary school when we were asked to write poems that spread over the course of three days, (they were ‘yesterday, today and tomorrow’ poems apparently) and I wrote one about a fisherman who is attacked and killed by a shark, ending in the verse ‘tomorrow I will be lying at the bottom of the deep blue sea, lifeless.’ My mother still has that poem and ignores my instance for her to destroy it.
After Jaws I moved on to Godzilla, this was probably the fandom that I devoted most of my pre-teens to, I loved the huge monsters destroying cities and each other and I eventually decided I could write a script of one myself, it would be my own perfect monster film. Needless to say at the age of ten it didn’t get passed a paragraph and it was absolute bollocks but I still knew I really wanted to write it and that may have been my first real story that I started and a the beginning of a long history of not finishing anything. After that I didn’t try and write a story to myself till I started to get invested in Warhammer 40,000 and this was where my writing of stories really started.
I had been a big fan, through movies and video games, of squads of army soldiers who were small tight nit groups of people who were all very close and, despite clashing personalities, got along very strongly and would always be there to back each other up. Maybe because I was not overly close to my mother and father and my sister was two years older than me, my brother severely autistic but I placed a lot of value on my friends, something I still do and have really come to backfire on me more times than not recently, so I guess that I really imagined a lot of myself and my friends in these characters that I invented.
Usually when I look back on past writing experiences I really hate to read my old stuff because I tend to absolutely despise anything I have done that doesn’t live up to my own lofty standards, but I can still find some positive points about those stories of imperial guardsmen fighting Orks and Chaos Space Marines, for example none of my characters were two dimensional and although a lot of their dialogue was short and almost all puns or witty remarks they all seemed to stay within their present characteristics. I knew when there was the need to increase drama even though I wasn’t overly good at doing it, I usually killed someone off when I needed things to escalate, though again I never wasted a death on just having one for the sake of it and nobody was introduced just to die. I am also proud that, despite being an adolescent young boy, when I wrote sex into the stories I never linger on it or describe the scenes, it was just something that the characters did occasionally. A lot of my inspiration of these stories also came from Blackadder, specifically Blackadder Goes Forth where the characters were always funny despite how dire their circumstances. In fact I wrote a short series based around Stormtroopers in Star Wars which was very Blackadder, the best of which was where the officer left an AT-ST walker to freeze overnight so that he and his two piolets missed the battle of Hoth.
after stopping writing in secondary school I made a few plans about young adults who get demon powers from a magic gauntlet they are tricked into touching and the various ways they misused their powers and the way it affected them though I never really went anywhere with it. During university I became very wrapped in the industrial music scene, which is heavy techno, EBM and usually German music with a mix of Goths, metal heads and ravers all getting involved and having a good old moan about how each of their tastes is better than everyone else’s. (By this point I had developed a very condescending and anti-social character as well as getting a good fucking start on alcoholism.) This scene and the music, coupled with a love of the first Blade film and the Vampire the Masquerade table top games, lead me to developing a much darker theme to most of my writing with no character ever having more than more than a rather chaotic neutral personality (that means that they are neither good or bad as such, just focused on their own goals.) though I still try and have a redeeming feature of all of them. From here I wrote some vampire stories, a Cyberpunk novel which I am still working on and consider very much my magnificent octopus (that means magnum opus, that’s a Blackadder joke right there) and I have even dabbled in erotica for the kicks and because my ex asked me to.
My real fascination though, as previously stated, has been horror probably since I was about thirteen and I watched the American remake of The Grudge. Despite now knowing that those films are pretty bad by most standards they scared the shit out of me at the time and I really did have sleepless nights until I eventually passed out due to being too tired. I think that I really want to elicit those types of feeling from other people. That is what drives me to write horror. one day I want people to read my works and be too scared of the boogey men I let forth from my imagination to sleep at night. I want my creations to be what haunt others nightmares, in fifty years I want kids having sleepovers dare each other to go into dark bathrooms and whisper the names of my monsters in the mirror three times.
One of my greatest writing idols is probably Stephen King but not because his stories are overly exceptional, I find his style of writing long and drawn out, focusing too much on background details that add nothing and he is a victim of writing what he knows far too much but idolise that what he creates sticks with people who read his work, People who have read It remember the Clown from the book, they remember the characters (except Stan who was fun as cardboard) They remember the Overlook Hotel, Jack Torrance’s slow descent into madness they remember what he writes, one day I want the list of horror authors to read H. P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, Conor Harpham.
Those are some of my inspirations and that is what I aspires to be one day. Now I better get back to actual writing, I think I have just inspired myself…