…well that was a month.
A couple of days ago, I think I figured out why I never see any of my own work as “dark”. To me, something is dark if it develops in a chilling and unexpected, or a disturbing and surprising, way.
My own work usually isn’t unexpected or surprising to me. Therefore, it doesn’t register as dark. The implied body horror, the deaths, the strange alterations of self, the loss – that’s not dark, that’s what’s expected. (Not that these things inherently make a work dark, but they can, and they’re examples of what I’ve seen people point to.)
And yes, I have the same issue with a lot of horror – there’s very little of it that I parse as “dark”, simply because it’s horror, and that’s what I came for. It can be gruesome, chilling, heartwrenching, startling, dour, or dire – but because I’m going in expecting and hoping for that, it isn’t usually unexpected or surprising.
Aside from that, there’s been a lot going on, but a lot of it’s also been fairly personal and is in progress, so I’m going to settle for saying that I think things are improving.