Why I love writing horror.

This post goes to the heart of who I am as a person.

For as a long as I can remember I’ve loved horror. I read a few books when I was younger, but horror movies fueled my childhood.

I watched Children of the Corn and Halloween when I was eight.

In my teen years, my father wasn’t home quite a bit and I would stay up and watch horror movies on HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime.

He wouldn’t let me get horror books when we’d go to the book store so I watched a lot of the movies.

As I grew up I loved to be scared and I remember my dad taking me to see “A Nightmare on Elm Street: Freddy’s Dead.”

It was the first time I saw a horror movie on the big screen and parts of it were in 3D.

My biological father would never have taken me to see it but my dad, he’s always been cool that way.

I love to be scared and when I was able to buy my own books I devoured them. Clive Barker’s Books of Blood is a favorite.

Recently, my wife and I would read horror, then trade books and have a discussion about them.

I came to writing horror and dark fantasy because I enjoy being scared.

It took me a long time, my wife and mom would say too long, to accept that I’m a horror and fantasy writer.

Sometimes, as a writer we deny who we are because we’re afraid of judgment. But the only one who can judge us is ourselves.

Be free to write what you enjoy and don’t let what anyone thinks about what you write or create make you feel bad.

It’s your art, enjoy it!

Happy writing!

How Being Forced to Read Changed My Writing.

For the last couple weeks I thought I’d try and write something different. It hasn’t turned out well.

My usual stories are fantasy of one form or another. I tried to write a Sci-Fi novel.

It was going good, as my other attempts at writing within the genre had, then the bottom fell out and I got bored.

I’m not sure whether it’s the story, the process I use, or whether I can’t write a Sci-Fi novel.

I’ve written a couple of Sci-Fi short stories in the past, no problem. When they grow longer than 10,000 words, that’s when the problems happen.

For now, I’ll be sticking to Fantasy, and its mini-genres…i.e., Epic, Sword & Sorcery, Urban, Grimdark, and the like.

But Science Fiction gives my brain fits.

I’m still not sure why this is. I can write a horror novel and be completely in love with it, same goes with Fantasy, but science fiction, I have trouble with it.

I believe that comes from the books I felt forced to read growing up.

My father would read Tom Clancy novels, I would read them. The Techno-Thriller had so much tech in it at times it bogged me down and I believe its why I can’t write similar things today.

Whenever I wanted to read something different he would look at the cover, read the blurb and decide for me whether I could read it.

Many times I would be reading a couple of books at a time, one that he chose, one that I found at the library.

It wasn’t until I moved out of his house and in with my mom and dad, that I felt I could read without judgement.

Though there were times I would have comics hidden under my bed or wherever I slept. The fear of someone finding out I liked comics, that I enjoyed fantasy novels was too great a thing for me to break from.

It took me a long time to enjoy reading fantasy and not having the fear of judgement for what I read.

Today, I enjoy fantasy and horror more than other genres. I don’t read Tom Clancy style books, though I do believe they have influenced some of my current writing.

I feel we should read and write what we’re comfortable with, though stretching ourselves can lead to great things.

Anyway, on to the next story, may it be ripe with Fantasy.

A Fiction Writer should be their own Platform

Stress can kill you, take away what you believe in and recently for me, make you sick as hell.

The stress came about because of my worries for my NaNoWriMo project, a project which, like last year, fell on its face and hasn’t begun to start moving, even though I’ve prodded it.

The biggest reason for its flop is Platform.

That word is such a buzz word in blogging and writing right now. It’s very hard to get away from it.

The biggest problem I see with that word is another word, fiction.

Fiction writer’s create worlds. Sometimes we don’t know where the story is going, even with an outline, and because of that we can’t truly set up a Platform.

A Platform is supposed to be a guide for a project. 

If you’re a fiction writer, that’s more difficult because you may not know where the story is going from one chapter to the next.

Those who write self-help books can use Platforms really well, while the rest of us are left wondering why it doesn’t work when we try it.

Here are reasons why I believe Platforms don’t work for Fiction Writers:

  1. Most fiction writers don’t write for an audience, and those who do already have there established group of readers.
  2. Platforms don’t allow for movement. If things change in your life, you have this Tribe that knows you as one person, but if you go through a spiritual awakening that is different than the one your Tribe knows you as, you have to start over.
  3. Change. Life is filled with change, some of it under your control, most of it not. If your writing changes or you choose to write in another genre it may alienate your tribe.

You may want to create a Platform, but in creating a Platform you may not be taking into account your life changes, your writing changes and the biggest of all, You Change.

The change you go through personally may alienate your tribe or may create divisions in your life.

Creating a Platform shouldn’t be something difficult, for fiction writers maybe it shouldn’t be something at all.

Writers create stories, some of them have similarities that when put together as a collection ofr work show those similarities, but as we write we may not understand the similarities and may become annoyed by those telling us to write another book like our past book.

For me who’s never published, though I’ve written two novels, I just want to get a book on the shelf.

Looking for a Platform for my writing caused me so much stress in the last few weeks I became ill and with that I swore I’d never do what people expect me to write.

My Platform is I’m a writer of different genres, mostly Science Fiction or Fantasy based, but I’ll never limit myself to those two.

I choose that Platform because trying to pigeon hole myself made me sick.

Your Platform should be what makes you the person you’ve lived with for your life, never limit yourself to who you are, or your Platform.

Be your Platform!

I’d rather be my Platform than do something I wouldn’t be proud of.

The Delusion of Genre Classification

Delusions of...

I like the idea of trying to write a book in every genre.

China MIÉVille

Our idea of what our writing should be is covered up by labels.

These labels aren’t what we want, but a way for publishers to place our work in the market.

Each of us write different genres, but these genres shouldn’t limit who we are as writers.

Are we a Fantasy writer with their epic worlds and magical places?

Or possibly, a YA writer, creating worlds for teenagers to escape from reality and possibly discover someone in fiction who’s going through the same struggles they’re going through?

Then again, maybe your a Science Fiction writer, creating marvelous technology and doing amazing things in the future or some place among the stars.

Being any of these is great, but being the writer you want to be is more important than being classified as one genre or another.

Many writers write in different genres. Neil Gaiman has written children’s books, adult books, YA and comics. Stephen King may be the king of horror, but his Dark Tower series is fantasy.

Never let anyone tell you what you should write.

Even if you’re published, you can always write genres other than what you’re known for, even if you have to keep them to yourself for a while.

Writing is about discovery. Find the right story for you, whatever it is.

The genre isn’t as important as good writing.

Don’t define your writing by a genre classification, let others do that. Just write!

What’s your favorite genre to write? Answer in the comments.