Hello everyone, my name is James Hershey Jr. and I am a horror novelist. In my last article I explained how I get the ideas for my novels straight from my nightmares. If you haven’t read that article yet I recommend you give it a read because it will help you to understand my process. In this article I would like to delve deeper into the process of actually writing my novels.
I know what you’re thinking, oh no not an article on grammar and sentence structure. Fear not my friends because this will not be that kind of article. My writing process is much different than any other writers. In many ways it is much more like a séance than an English class.
The first step to understanding my process is to throw out everything that you ever learned about writing. I never outline or plan out what I am going to write. All I have going in is the basic skeleton of the story from my nightmares. I don’t sit and try to come up with something to write or try to create the story at all.
I know that it’s time to write because I will have a compulsion that I need to get to my laptop. The best way that I can describe this feeling is to compare it to an itch that gets worse the longer I don’t scratch it. The itch will get worse until it becomes unbearable and I feel like I will lose my mind if I don’t scratch it. Once I get to my laptop the fun really begins.
As soon as I open my laptop I begin writing. I don’t worry about what I am writing or what’s going to happen next. I leave my mind blank and just surrender to whatever it is that brings me these horrific nightmares night after night. I allow the story to flow through me and onto the page. It feels like the story is a living thing that desperately wants to be told. I give these stories a voice.
I experience my novels in much the same way as my readers do. When plot twists occur I am just as surprised as my readers are when they read them. I will stay at my laptop typing furiously as long as the compulsion has a hold over me. These writing sessions can last anywhere from a few hours to a day or more. I lose all sense of time and my surroundings while I am writing.
I know that it’s time to stop writing because the compulsion will suddenly just go away and the story will just stop like somebody slammed the brakes in a car. I am always exhausted and physically spent when one of these sessions end. I leave the sessions with a bad headache and upset stomach. I usually need to go lay down for a little bit and recover.
I don’t know why these things happen to me or where the dreams and stories come from. People ask me how I can deal with having these vivid nightmares every night. The truth is that it’s all I have ever known so as bad as it can be sometimes to me it’s normal. I encourage you all to read my novels and join me on this strange journey. All of my novels can be found on Amazon, BooksaMillion, Barnes&Nobles, and other book stores. I would recommend Amazon because it has the lowest price and the novels are all on prime so you can have them within two days. I want to thank all my readers for your support and words of encouragement. A kind word helps me during the hard spots more than you will ever know. Thank you for reading.
James Hershey Jr.