Writing Shadow Man
Shadow Man was my favorite to create. My kids and I were pretending to camp in our house. We turned out all the lights, only leaving a flashlight on to point up at our spooky faces. The kids wanted to tell scary stories. I had to give the people what they want.
In the original version, the new boy in town doesn’t believe the other kids when they say a Shadow Man lives in the woods. The boy leaves his window open at night. The fresh air helps him sleep. This boy clearly did not listen to my favorite podcast, Morbid. To quote Ash and Alaina, “Fresh air is for dead people.”
The Shadow Man snatches the boy in the middle of the night. The boy’s parents wake up at a sound coming from their son’s room. They see him being dragged to the forest. They alert everyone in town, and a bunch of parents chase after the Shadow Man in the woods. They came to a cave, deep within. They saw nothing there but piles of children’s bones. The parents burn down the forest between the town and the cave so that nothing can creep between there again. The Shadow Man never returned.
So, it wasn’t exactly stellar… and maybe killing off a kid wouldn’t be received well once published. My kids, 5 and 7 at the time, like to be scared, but it was a little intense for others their age. Since they enjoyed it, I decided it would be fun to self-publish this story (with improvements).
I wrote the manuscript as if telling a campfire story. The characters are nameless so readers can fill in the story with their own experiences. They can make the children any age, any name, and have any background. It gives the creepy sensation that this can happen to anyone...even you.
I’m no artist, but in this case, I was confident in my illustrations. When I draw people, they tend to come out stiff. Perhaps because I am dead inside? Just kidding! It was perfect in this story, because I wanted to give the characters a haunted look. I wanted the town to look still and silent.
In the end, I produced a creepy, but not too scary, story. I think it’s just right for young kids that loves all the spooky-ooky things out there!