There’s a point when you write horror that you’ll skip some norms. You’ll do some things in your stories that will turn stomachs, make readers(and family)question your morals, sanity, and whether the world is safe with you outside a padded room.
I never thought about going really dark or extreme with my horror until recently. This happened because or a novel I read. It was Brian Keene’s Urban Gothic, which if you’ve read it, you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
That book took what I thought was okay to put in a horror story and tossed it straight out the window. I never would have thought to go so graphic, much less so hardcore before.
I read Keene’s The Complex afterwards and will be reading Ghoul after my current read, which is another author who I’m really enjoying.
Having never read extreme or hardcore horror, it took me a few days after reading the first couple of chapters to really get into the book, because it’s seriously messed up.
It has been compared to House of 1000 Corpses by Rob Zombie, and having seen that movie when I was inebriated, it’s an apt descriptor.
I’ve always been subtle or reserved in my horror. Never in your face gore, or anything similar and I feel like that’s been limiting me in what I write, definitely in what I read. I’m finding more enjoyment in the extreme stories than I have in quiet horror or soft horror. I will read those, hell, my favorite book of this year is like that, Stephen Graham Jones’s, “The Only Good Indians.”
It’s a master class in horror and one of the scariest and most unnerving books I’ve read in a long time, but it’s not in your face, at least not initially.
But moving on.
For me writing horror isn’t about scaring, not really. It’s about throwing normal people into terrible situations and seeing if they can survive. That’s what King has done for years with his horror.
Finding that I can write as messed up as I want as long as I do it well, has been revolutionary to my writing.
I have a short story due for an anthology on the 21st of this month, another due the 31st, and a first draft of a novel due in February(though it will probably be done sooner)and I’m enjoying the hell out of tossing in the most screwed up things at my characters.
Anyway, back to work…and skipping some levels