The Monster in the Door – The Process
**SPOILERS BELOW. If you have not read the story and want to be (hopefully) surprised, come back to this when you’re done.**
The challenge of this story is that I had so many of the elements firmly in mind from personal experience, I needed to make sure I translated them into something that reader could see just as well. I don’t know if I did that, but I gave it a shot (and that’s what this challenge is mostly about — giving things shots. Like a doctor. Or a mad scientist. Yeah, definitely the latter.)
The initial inspiration was this:
That’s the door to my childhood bedroom and it’s still there (though the room has become a home office). You can imagine a kid with a fertile imagination would have some interesting thoughts regarding that grain pattern in the upper-right corner.
And like any small town, there are colorful bits of history and local lore that can be weaved into an intriguing story. There is a “House on the Hill” that you can read about here. And that little bit of text in the CC&R papers? Yup, it’s real. Sad, but true.
The writing was fluid for the most part, I think because I was so familiar with many of the elements. I also decided to set this in the 80s, hoping that I could evoke a sense of childhood by using my own experiences as fodder.
I’ll probably come back to this setting from time to time. Though I haven’t lived in the area for a couple of decades, there’s something about the hometown that leaves its mark.
Here’s the general scratch file:
And the daily journal entries: