Writing Horror and Future Things

Good morning or whatever it where you’re reading this.

I hope you’re in good spirits and are enjoying your day so far.

I spent the last four days watching panels, readings, and taking two classes during Stokercon.

I learned quite a few things but what I’m taking away is the fire of other authors.

In all the panels, readings, and classes, I noticed one thing: there is a fire to produce in these authors.

I write a lot, and quickly, but I saw something in their eyes. It’s the ability to push away and grind. To put in extra hours at the desk of editing and/or drafting.

Horror is my safe place. I’ve always watched horror and it’s only been the last twenty years that I’ve truly read it.

I’ve talked about how I didn’t read certain things as a kid because of restrictions places upon my by my biological father, and I feel that set me back. I’m trying to catch up.

The first horror book I remember reading was Stephen King’s Four Past Midnight. My sister had it at her house and enjoyed the stories in that collection. Having a thing for vampires since I was little kid, I moved on to Anne Rice and her beloved Lestat. I fell in love with him in a way I’ve never been with another character.

I read all of the books up to Blood Canticle and while I know there are other books, Prince Lestat being among those, I didn’t care for those books. They didn’t feel the same. My love of Lestat was something I’ve wished to replicate in my own work.

He helped me get through a lot of bad things in my life and I wish for my own work to do that same.

I have two novellas I’ll be working on and sending off for consideration as well as sending out short stories for every call that comes in.

I also am considering what to do with a Political Thriller sitting on my hard drive. That one may get published under a pseudonym. I’ve considered this course since I wrote it.

I will be working harder this year than any year as I feel a fire has been lit and I’ll continue to fan those flames.

Please follow along, buy the collection on Amazon. It’s currently at $0.99 on Kindle and I have to plans to raise that price. If you wish to purchase the paperback, that would make this writer incredibly happy, either way, enjoy the stories.

As I close this post, click the link to follow along and I hope you enjoy the stories.

Acceptance and…

You reach a point in your life where you think about who you are, what you’ve done, and where your mind is.

I don’t know if there’s a term for it, but I feel I’ve reached a few of those.

The mind thing is what I’ve been dealing with recently.

The biggest problem is that I want to go to a certain doctor for something but it would cause our health care benefits to cost more, which is a thing in the American health system.

This thing I want to have dealt with has something to do with the mind, but it’s also one of those things you don’t want to mention. The thought of it scares the hell out of me and my wife.

But there in lies the issue.

Some things have to be dealt with or they grow into other things which can consume the host of such thing.

When I think back on the depression I’ve dealt with in my life, this thing correlates to this one thing. I remember certain things that relate to it from childhood, from adolescence, and definitely from early adulthood.

I won’t get into the particulars of it. I’m working on a new project where that thing comes into play in a way that terrifies me.

We come to ourselves at moments where the need is higher than others. We find ourselves determined to push through our mind obstacles. Negating the problems upon the path and following it until we reach the end. This end is hard to get to. It makes our lives more difficult because of what lies beyond it.. It’s the hardest thing I’ve dealt with and yet, it makes sense to me in a way that I don’t understand.

I continue to write, sober, as I’ve been for the last two months. Which in itself is an accomplishment. With this thing I’m dealing with I consider alcohol to disrupt it more and cause more problems. I also got my first vaccine dose which is a weight somewhat lifted off of my shoulders.

There’s this way of going through life and I find it harder. As I continue my sobriety I find myself moving away from wanting to bartend and doing other things. Yes, I am good at it, but the culture of it isn’t conducive to this new way of life I’ve found myself in.

The best thing is my wife’s acceptance of this. Without her I’d be lost.

One last thing before I move on for the day. I won’t answer questions about what this thing is. Which is why I’m as vague as possible. I hope you’ll understand, I’m fairly certain some of you will.

Have a lovely day,

B

Getting the work part done.

With any project it comes to a point where the work part happens.

After the first draft, there’s the part you let it sit, or at least I do. It’s usually a few months, but can be longer.

The reason for letting it sit is so when you don’t constantly revise, restructure or rewrite all of the time. Doing that, at least in my opinion, causes more problems than it solves.

The first draft is where you find out your story, or if you’re an outliner, you put what you’ve outlined into the story.

Being as I’m a mostly pantser, which means I will have a beat sheet and know where those beats will be places, but as far as the story itself, I don’t really know where it will go.

This may cause some people reading this to freak out, those are the outliners.

For the pantsers, here’s some truth: I have no idea what will happen at the end of the book, or if I do, it’s usually discovered as I’m writing. This works for me as I write in various genres.

Thriller as it pertains to all of its classifications: Political, Military, Spy…and yes sometimes horror is thrown into this category for the sake of selling books. Take a look at Silence of the Lambs, at it’s core, that’s a horror story.

I enjoy things that frighten me. I grew up in the 80’s with the threat of nuclear annihilation from the Soviets. It’s something that has stuck with me growing up. Knowing that fear and chasing it has lead me to write thrillers in the respective classifications I mentioned above.

I grew up next to an air base. The sound of planes taking off and landing is a fond memory of my childhood. There were also the times the base opened to the public, showing off the latest aircraft.

The first time I saw an F-117 Nighthawk was at one of these events. The sleekness of that aircraft combined with it’s dark color and insectlike bumps and ridges, still gets me excited.

Aircraft is a thing that I’ve always been enthralled with and watching them take off from the base as well as building models at home are great childhood memories.

But I’ve gotten off track.

The work part is what comes after the first draft. It’s the editing, rewriting, revising. They used to be things I hated, but the process feels different than it has in a while. I’m actually enjoying this 100k rewrite I’m working on.

But I am getting the work part done and that’s important. Without the work, the project wont be able to stand up, and at the end, when it’s done, it needs to be.

Have a pleasant rest of your week. Stay safe and I’ll see you Friday, where I’ll talk about my love of aircraft a little more.

Embracing what you fear

As I’ve said numerous times on here, I avoided writing certain books because of things that happened as a kid.

I worried about what it said about myself, what it said about my writing, and whether my mind wanted to go in too many places at once. This fear has permeated me since I put pen to paper in high school.

The past week was one where I had to have talk with myself about this. I can’t move forward in my writing without either adjusting to writing military/spy/political thrillers, as well as horror, or I can stop writing one or the other. I chose to adjust.

Growing up in the 80’s Tom Clancy was the king of the techno-thriller. I looked up to him as a storyteller. Writing in that playground always scared the hell out of me. Mostly because I am not nor have I ever been in the military, CIA, FBI, or any other acronym.

But writing happens and last April I wrote a book in that genre and it scared the hell out of me for a couple of reasons.

One: I felt it was good.

Two: The fear of judgement from others about writing in genre, and that I’ve said numerous times how disrupted my childhood was because I felt forced to read those books.

But maybe it’s not so much that I felt forced, but that there’s the longstanding obstacle of my relationship with my father. He chose those books and I read them, even though there were other books I wanted to read, I read those.

I attribute my knowledge of history and politics to my father, something that maybe I should deal with personally.

That I’ve now chosen to write in whatever genre rears its head, is possibly a breakthrough for me.

I avoided writing these books because of childhood trauma. As I consider it now, those books did more to help me navigate my teenage years and early twenties, than perhaps anything except Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles.

The Chronicles helped me deal with other things.

Now that I’ve gone and changed my author’s bio, and all of my bios on social media, I’m ready to deal with the fact that I love spy books for the simple fact that I enjoy them. I enjoy the hell out of writing them and if not for my father pushing them on me I wouldn’t be writing them today.

Here’s a writing fact for you. I read Tom Clancy’s Red Storm Rising in sixth grade. That book stayed with me as have most of Clancy’s books.

Have a pleasant week. I’ll be here this week.

What the hell is this?

I get a bit weird when I’m starting a new project, my wife attributes this to imposter syndrome.

It’s also that when I’m starting a new project, I feel that I’m abandoning genres that I feel more comfortable writing.

The fact is that I’ve been writing horror for the last year. Following a set of rules when I write and I’ve tossed them and trying something new. Maybe that scares the hell out of me, but I want to write what I enjoy.

The new story has horror elements but is definitely Grimdark fantasy.

I happened upon this story when I wrote a short one that I’m submitting next month. I mentioned that on Monday’s post.

This whole thing started because of that story. But I have no path for it. I have no idea where it’s going and after writing with a beat sheet or outline for the last year, it scares the hell out of me to write another way.

The longer form stories I’ve written this year have been good, better than I’ve written in a while and maybe that’s why doing this scares me.

Let’s get to the meat of this issue.

The stories I’ve written this year have had a formula.

Take a story archetype(clowns, aliens, ghosts), add an element(serving a higher power, seeking truth, helping another), then throw in a thing(graveyard, hospital, guitar) and use those to create a story.

I have done none of those with this project.

I’m sure that’s the problem and I need to think about it more, or I need to pull something from my bags. I have bags where these archetypes, elements, and things are kept. It’s a thing I learned from Writing in the Dark by Tim Waggoner.

I abandoned it for this project and I’m sure that’s why I’m struggling.

I guess I answered my own question.

Sometimes working through by writing it down helps.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑