By sheer chance, I recently found myself reading two horror novels in which the act of writing played a significant part: Patrick Senecal's 5150, rue des Ormes and Alan Judd's Faustian The Devil's Own Work. 5150, rue des Ormes juxtaposes the journals of Yannick (being held hostage in the titular house) and Maude (the fervently Catholic wife of the man doing the hostage-holding) against an intermittent third-person objective narrator; The Devil's Own Work's first-person narrator tells the story of the fate of his friend, a bestselling novelist, in thrall to a strange manuscript and the woman (or demon) who guards it. Both novels produce some of their skin-crawling effects from the increasingly obvious discrepancy between the hopes vested in writing (to keep oneself sane, to impose order on chaos, to create art, to express the secret self...) and the actual outcomes for the ever more beleaguered writers. Initially, I was going to write about the two novels together, but 5150, rue des Ormes decided to take over this blog post.
Spoilers ahoy, so the rest goes below the fold. Beware! Long entry ahead!