Where It Begins (again)

Sometimes an idea is too good to resist. That’s where it begins for me – being taken in by the ‘wow yeah, I’ve got it!’ As a science fiction writer this revelatory moment of inspiration can be a prelude to trouble and, ultimately, disillusionment.

Having resisted the urge to even consider starting a 6th novel, I happened upon the phenomenon of Skinwalker Ranch through various TV shows. UFOs and a plethora of paranormal occurrences in one location!

Has no SF/horror writer been inspired by this nexus of paranormal activity? Maybe the reality of it is just too strange, too extraordinarily mindbogglingly weird, to distill into a novel or any form that gives you a coherent narrative. Yet what fiction can do that investigative factual reporting cannot is to give the mysterious meaning by narrowing down the context. Such as: here is a scenario to explain how things connect, a perspective through the eyes of a protagonist. Even though documentaries can do this to some extent – in that they give you an insight, they don’t really put you into the protagonist’s world. (That said, there are some real life people connected who would make interesting fictional characters.) But what, crucially, fiction can do is make a bold leap of imagination.

My guess is, a number of successful fiction authors have studied this phenomenal location and thought: I could take this on, write a decent story … yet risk the scrutiny from those with such an intense interest and strong opinion on what’s really happening, plus the ensuing barrage of criticism. And really, there are so many potential layers to peel away – to get anywhere near the heart of what is dubbed the world’s most mysterious place – it would be too onerous to try. The truth too strange (if not dark) even for fiction writers.

So would I take it on?

Maybe I should resist that temptation. But you can’t stop being inspired.

My published books: Worlds Beyond Time (UK)

Worlds Beyond Time (US)

The Captured (US) The Captured (UK)

My links site: adriankyte.com

2 thoughts on “Where It Begins (again)

  1. I’ve had a similar concern about others telling me “You got it wrong” with some of my stories — though in this case with historical fiction. However, I have also written paranormal-inspired stories, such as a story inspired by the events in an episode of Ghost Adventures about the Zozo Demon (who, coincidentally, also filmed an episode at Skinwalker Ranch). My workaround for this issue is to set the story in a fictional place *similar* to the real life place. You can even make it known that the story is inspired by the real-life Skinwalker Ranch, but this way you are exploring your interpretation of the phenomenon versus trying to put your theory forth as the one answer.

    Or set it in the real place, critics be damned. Just my thoughts.

    • Thanks for your comment, Stephen.
      In my writing I try to avoid anything that might be part of a trend (yes, i re-read that useful Strange Horizons list of cliched story ideas). But thinking I’m going to be totally original i’ve risked writing the incredible if not implausible, and too many failures have made me wary of that. So really I’m thinking a good idea would be a new take on something that is capturing (or just beginning to capture) popular interest. Though, of course, easier said than done. And what i have considered might just be an ambitious step too far.

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