Writer's Commentary: Halloween

On Post: Halloween
Date: January 21
It may surprise people to know that finding the sweet spot between avoiding plagiarizing Disney and avoiding being way creepy is fairly thin.

At least, that is how I felt while writing (and, today, re-reading) this entry. The boogeyman motif is pretty clear in the Dave Matthews Band tune that inspired this piece. It is so clear, in fact, it almost seems like the narrator—Matthews, natch—is trying too hard to convince himself and us. It is compensatory bragging that cracks when he demands and then begs of his quarry, “Don’t walk away.” The song’s epilogue, of sorts, serves only to reinforce this as he desperately attempts to reassert himself via further threats but still cannot avoid asking if the person—I assumed, rightly or wrongly, the focus was a female—if she is happy with love. He’s a boogeyman who can’t decide if he wants to terrify her or just get married to her.
So, I set about to write such a character. The classic trope is, of course, the monster under the bed or in the closet. It is classic enough that Monsters, Inc used it to excellent results back ten years ago. So I wanted to be aware of that and avoid simply writing Sully or Mike fan fiction.
At the same time, however, I did not want to go overboard on tone and make the monster too scary or, more likely, skeezy. Being obsessed with his nemesis Britney was fine, but I did not want the tone to sound too much like it was coming from a peeping tom or sexual predator about to pounce on his prey.
It was not an easy balancing act. A first pass on it produced a monster that was WAY too creepy. Or felt that way to me anyway. There are still parts in the finished product that hit the site that I read now and imagine people could make worse than they were. Those moments, though, were relatively fleeting and usually undercut soon, if not immediately, but the monster’s running monologue. Which, thankfully, is not too Mike or Sully.
And Britney is absolutely nothing like Boo. Monster or not, she was damn mean to him.
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