The Calm Before the Storm
I'm speaking literally rather than figuratively. We are expecting a mammoth storm later this afternoon and it is predicted to dump 10-12 inches of rain in my area overnight. I know, I know, it's just a little rain, not snow or anything and my house is safe from flooding. But still, there is a nervous tension, knowing this storm is coming. I'm not sure how to describe it, but I find myself wandering the house, looking out at the sky, amazed that in a few hours the sunshine will disappear and the dark clouds will roll in and dump a ton of water. I think it is just a natural reaction to a drastic change, but it is there.
This is what I want to accomplish in my writing. I want to present a beautiful, pastoral scene, perfect, so perfect, you know something is going to go wrong. I think that is why setting is so important to me. My current WIP takes place on this beautiful English estate, with a fabulous garden and pretty people. Something dark and ugly has to happen, right? I guess I love the contrast.
Anyway, as a reader, do you enjoy the tension? Do you like the sense of dread? I have to admit, I love horror movies, so maybe that's just me, but I love that feeling of unease. I like seeing that lovely scene and knowing it will go horribly wrong. Allison Brennan did that well in The Prey. I think that is what I liked about the book so much. Stephen King does it too.