I’ve been binge-watching a TV show on Netflix, I won’t say which one, and it got me thinking about darkness in literature. I want the books about Grevared to have a darkness to them, something I have yet to achieve, but I’ve noticed that most of the darkness in the TV show has to do with depravity. There’s everything in this show from wonton sex, to cutting out babies’ hearts, to bathing in blood. There’s a lot of desperation and such, too, but the depravity overpowers it. That isn’t what I want for my books. Yes, I want darkness, and, yes, depravity happens in the world, but I want there to be a balance between the two.
The short stories I’m going to release in the next few days do have some of that depravity in them, especially ‘For Love of Her’, but I don’t want all darkness to come from a despicable act. Does that make sense? I want the darkness to be there, to be obvious, but I want it to come from circumstances, from the world, not just from heinous acts.
So, my question is this – how can darkness be portrayed in such a way that the reader feels the oppression around him/her without needing blood, gore, and sex to make it happen? Any suggestions?