You have no doubt read, or heard, of actors who get so involved with a character they play that they take the character home with them, in fact becoming to a real extent, the character, and in the process losing something of themselves until the project is over, then moving on to have another character inhabit their being; particularly troublesome if the character they are playing is a dark, sinister, creepy character.
Writers experience this too, after all if a writer’s characters are to be real, the writer goes through what they go through, at least in his mind. He, like the actor, is inhabited by the thoughts, feelings, and actions of his characters.
I experienced this in a short story I recently finished called “The Unstained Couch.” It is a horror story, one in which I blended two separate story ideas I had. Because of the darkness of the tale that concerns a man who wakes up, finds a dead woman in his bed whom he does not know and goes into the kitchen to make tea, then later finds the woman is not in his bed, but gone, then reappears on the kitchen floor, and because the couch keeps moving every time he enters the living room, and because the couch, once a cherished piece of memory, now a hideously ugly reminder of the past, my mind went into dark corners, corners that were not pleasant. While the creative part of my brain was happily active in creating this weird dark tale, my emotions were not; they were conflicted, violent, murderous. I was acutely aware of both the creative aspect and the emotional aspect working side by side.
Now I understand how writers can go mad, now I understood what Thomas Mann meant when writing of the writer looking into the abyss.
I have yet to go back to the story and proofread and edit the story. It is difficult to return to a house that is haunted that you escaped from, so I must wait until I am ready. Madness lives on those pages, in those words, but I will embrace the madness once the residue clears from the present.
My sane website
Some other dark tales I wrote.