Writing is difficult, arduous, and often painful. Writing can drive one mad. Unless you write in a completely emotionless fog, writing has tormented you. Similarly, Henry Knight’s monstrous hound tormented him. This is actually what I feel like when I come forth to face my writing. (Sometimes.)
Henry Knight from Sherlock is the perfect allegory for an angsty writer, and here’s why.
Henry Knight=angsty writer
When our stories are painful and messy but WE KEEP COMING BACK (or they keep coming back; I’m not sure):
Henry Knight: [keeps going back to Dewer’s Hollow]
When we try to explain our stories to someone and their response is:
You are trying to pour forth your heart, and they scoff. This crushes our souls. This makes us bitter.
When you are asking for advice on a particularly emotional scene and they don’t TAKE IT SERIOUSLY:
Henry Knight: [bitterly] I’m not sure you can help me Mr. Holmes, since you find it all so funny.
When someone challenges our use of a particular word/phrase/plot point:
Sherlock: You said hound; why a hound?
Henry Knight: [in agitated confusion] I..I don’t know…
When we are trying to decipher our own jumbled notes and plot lines:
Henry Knight: [in intense concentration] Liberty in… what do you think it means?
When people deny the importance of our characters and stories and try to tell us that they are NOT REAL:
This is frightfully disturbing.
When we come to a dead end:
Henry Knight: [puts his hands to his head in agitation]
Henry Knight: [yelling in anguish] I DON’T- I DON’T KNOW ANYMORE!
This moment comes more often than I would care to admit.
The rest of the time:
The general plagued air.
The dreaded fascination.
The ANGST, folks. The angst.
I know this is fairly dramatic, but isn’t writing dramatic???
As a writer, I relate to this on a profound level. I know it all sounds rather drastic, but sometimes when I am wrapped up in my stories, this is how it feels. Exactly like this. I feel like the world is crashing in around me, and I am just sitting on my bed with my laptop in front of me or a pen in my hand. How do stories do this to us?
One other thing worth noting is that the hound DID NOT exist; Henry made it up in order to cope with an even uglier reality…. (Why are there tears in my eyes?)
(Of course there was also poisonous gas and all that, but that doesn’t fit with my metaphor, so Shhh.)
What about you? Are you a writer? Do you relate to the angst of Henry Knight? Are you haunted by your stories and characters? Or do you have the emotionless fog approach? (Does anyone actually do that???)