If there's one thing that's been a common occurrence while I've been writing Heartbreak World, it's this idea that "oh no, I'm a horrible person for coming up with this." I've had the thought a lot of times. I've told my friends, half as a joke, as I put the words on a page. And still I'm not sure if thinking of bad things makes me a bad person.
Here's what I mean. Heartbreak World is set in a near-future where people die of emotional pain. When my character wakes into that world, quite a few of the good people are gone.
She wakes into a world of psychopaths. People who lived past the end of humanity because they just didn't have emotions.
And sure, I plan for her to meet some good people too. They'll come up and help her along the way, but mostly, she's going to have to be good in the midst of a whole lot of bad.
That's what a story is, a lot of times. Someone trying to be good amidst nothing but bad. And if something's going to be bad, I'm going to make it real bad.
So I spend a lot of mornings thinking of the worst things I can. I wonder if the fact that I can think of them makes me a bad person.
But all I want to do is tell a good story. Someone overcoming something just sorta okay isn't nearly as interesting as someone overcoming the darkest of dark, the worst of the bad. Or as meaningful.
I want to know that bad can be defeated. That good can win.
And when I think about it that way, it sounds like quite the opposite of a bad thing.