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BLOOD TYPE: Behind the Story

Haven't read BLOOD TYPE yet? This post contains several spoilers, so make sure to read the story first!

Link to the story:

Where did the idea come from for Blood Type? Well that’s easy enough to answer; it’s a true story.

Okay…maybe it’s not completely true. That whole part about a man spawning from blood might not have actually happened, but the rest of it, right up until the point of Nick’s sanguine arrival, is perfectly true.

One day, just as I was leaving a routine appointment, my doctor ambushed me with the proposition of getting some lab work done, and being the agreeable lad that I am, I agreed. She then shepherded me right back into the examining room, where I had spent most of the visit waiting for her, and told me to wait for a nurse who would be along shortly.

Fun fact about me, I hate needles. I mean I really hate them. Cut me, punch me, I don’t care, just don’t stick a needle in me. It’s a silly fear, I recognize that, seeing as I don’t care at all about what little pain they inflict. There’s just something wrong about the thought of that little metal tube poking into me, something that really makes me shudder.

So there I was, waiting patiently for one of the things I hate the most, and I wondered if there was any way I could weasel out of it. A few of the lamer excuses Kendall came up with went through my mind—claiming a forgotten commitment, chief among them—but I knew that I wouldn’t use any of them. If there’s one thing I’m proud of, it’s my stubbornness to bow down to petty fears (just ask my math teachers, I showed up for every one of those torture sessions). But it was fun coming up with excuses, and since I have one terrifying imagination, my excuses quickly became more outlandish, until the thought of If I bleed, everyone else will die, burst into my head.

Another fun fact: The most common phrase that goes through my mind on any given day is I sure would like a cookie, but closely following that is I wonder if I can make that into a story? And something terrible bursting from a guy’s vein when he gets blood work done…yeah, there was most definitely a story there.

So I filed that thought away, got my blood stolen—I did look away, but I didn’t faint or even cry, thank you very much—and went about my business, storing the idea in the back of my head where it could ferment.

I pulled the idea out after finishing a novel I had been working on, and decided that it was a story worthy of being told, so off I went.

Those familiar with my writing habit know that I gave up pre-writes a long time ago, so I quite literally had no idea what would come out of Kendall’s arm apart from the fact that it would kill everyone in the room besides him. The vague image floating around in my mind was that it would somehow set the air on fire or some other nonsense like that, but when I arrived at the fateful moment, I knew that a sudden death by explosion would be boring, so something else would have to happen.

I learned what would happen the same way the reader does; the nurse screamed, and when Kendall looks down, he sees a finger dangling on a stream of blood pushing from the needle. No idea where it came from, honestly. The image flashed into my mind as I wrote, and I went with it.

So good old Nick bursts into existence, and I’m dismayed to find that, apart from being an indestructible Ted Bundy, he’s also an irritating S.O.B. But that’s what happens when you let loose and let the characters form naturally. Without all those silly character diagrams some people insist on, they become so real that they can annoy even you.

Up until that point, the story had come easily, but I hit a bit of a loggerhead after Nick showed up. Now what? Now what was supposed to happen? We have the psychopath born of blood, but what’s going to happen? What’s going to be the conflict and the resolution? My original thinking was that everyone in the room would die and Kendall would meander off just as calm as you please, but the way the story had formed no longer lent itself to that ending.

I took a break, thought on it overnight, and came back the next day, realizing that Kendall, mopey, go-along-with-it Kendall, would have to grow a set and stand up to Nick. And I’m proud to say that Kendall did just that, and was rewarded with a new guardian, one who was unlikely to leave bodies strewn in his wake.

So what happened afterwards, you might ask? Does Kendall get away with it all? Was Nick really killed? Well…I don’t know, do I? Figure it out yourself. You’ve an imagination, haven’t you?

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