Tag Archives: fantasy

The Horror!

This may be blasphemy to the Horror genre, but I hate what it is anymore. The classical horror of the Victorian era let the imagination of the reader fill in the blanks allowing for more “horror” than bombarding people with gore. Yes, I know, death is a part of the genre, but in recent decades, death and gore isn’t a consequence, but the point of the story instead. In fact, story takes a back seat to gore and death for much of horror. I would like to challenge people to see the beauty in classical horror.

The setting is a rarely traveled part of the world, perhaps the woods, and there is either a killer or monster lurking. Unfortunately, a group of stupid college students go in that region and get picked off one by one in terrible and gruesome ways. This is the sort of thing that passes as horror anymore, with few exceptions. I enjoy tales of werewolves, in fact my upcoming book will include them, but gaining inspiration was pretty challenging because there are very few quality werewolf stories out there.

I enjoy stories that are based around suspense and unknown with supernatural elements. This is what horror used to be. It isn’t just horror that has changed, fantasy has grown darker and grittier. Dark and gritty isn’t inherently, bad but both modern fantasy and horror have grown incredibly cynical in their messages. In horror most of the time everyone dies brutally, life is cheep, and it seems fantasy is adopting that approach as well. Why is that? Storytelling tends to follow cultural trends, have some genre fiction stories gotten darker, horror much earlier than others, due to an increasingly cynical outlook on life? Is it due to changing tastes that accompany an evolving culture? What if storytellers focused on plot and character development over pushing boundaries instead? At this point it is hard to imagine any boundary that hasn’t been pushed anyway, perhaps all of us who craft stories need to examine why we write them and what is their purpose.

Does Anyone Care?

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In case you live in a hole in the ground, you know there was an election.  It was not just an election year, it was a very emotionally charged election year.  I know, every time there is an election there are emotions, but this time things seem much more volatile.  Anyone on social media has seen passionate posts, or maybe you are the one writing them.  We have seen moderates berate both sides, we have seen Trump supporters demonize Hillary, and Hillary supporters insist Trump is the next Hitler.  This post isn’t about my political views, but instead I would like to pose a question.  Does anyone really care about yours or my political views?  Especially when we expound them on social media or in our works as writers?  

Political views stem out of worldviews, and worldviews are how we see everything. The person on the other side of the spectrum sees things very differently (obviously) and most likely will get angry, annoyed, or ignore the post entirely.  Therefore, is there really any point to posting it to begin with?  Yes and no, somethings are worth taking a stand, and there is nothing wrong with sharing one’s thoughts, but things have gotten overboard. There is point in which social media becomes not a place for sharing views but beating down and bullying all who dare think differently.  All sides do this, and now it is saturating our entertainment too.  As a storyteller, I must pull back and analyze just how much sprinkling of my worldview do I need to include in a tale? 

I doubt anyone changed their beliefs based on a Facebook or Twitter post.  This is coming from someone who has done this before as well.  I feel passionate about something, and five years ago I was much more idealistic and even sought out “discussions” with those who believe differently.  You know what that accomplished?  Nothing.  My mind wasn’t changed; the other person’s mind didn’t change.  Ultimately all it did was cause tension, anger, and for both sides to end up grossly misrepresenting our sides due to elevated emotions.  That is the natural conclusion for such things.  Now, I’m not saying politics or religion should never be discussed.  They should be, but I’m specifically addressing the plastering these views all over social media obsessively, or going out of your way to argue with strangers on the internet.

The only ones that care about these posts are the ones who already agree with you.  If you then are speaking to only those who agree with you anyway, why do it?  If you are doing it to convince others that their beliefs are wrong and evil then it may seem noble, but again that isn’t how people come to different conclusions.  The only way to influence another person’s perspective is to empathize with them and their views, and to care about them as people.

It is human nature to get passionate about something and share it with the world, and somethings are worth fighting for and taking a stand.  That is where discernment comes in, something which has been sorely lacking these past couple years.

As a writer, I find this fascinating.  I see people’s true beliefs and worldviews coming through since the election.  It is excellent fuel for characters.  So many people take to the internet to state their views over and over and the only ones who listen are those who already agree.   Personally, I don’t put much faith in any one politician, especially right now.  It is interesting seeing those who are so emotionally invested in ideology that they alienate and even create divides within their own families.  Reality is the greatest inspiration for fiction.  Immense loyalty to ideologies, for good or bad, makes for compelling characterization.  Although, the all-too-common “think like me or you are evil,” thinking that is emerging isn’t helpful for real world relationships.  Even if the person really is right.  Throughout this I can say one thing, at least it is dripping with inspiration.

A New Marketing Approach

I’ve said it before, and it still holds true, marketing isn’t my strong suit. The idea of convincing someone else to buy something is difficult. However, after giving my current modes of marketing some time, I’ve decided that this year is when I need to shake things up a bit.

It is time I finally paid for advertisements, but that is a project in and of itself. Finding what works, what doesn’t work, how much the ad bid should be and everything else that goes into it is something that takes time. Along with that I’ve been searching for independent bookstores to sell my works. Along with that I’m rethinking my approach to social media, and even deleted some accounts. I realized I relied too heavily on social media, when it is in fact best for growing an author’s brand, not driving sales.

The final part of my new marketing plan is to seek out more reviews. That I the tricky thing. I have given away several copies for free in exchange for reviews, only to never actually receive the review. I hate beings nag, or sounding desperate so I sent reminders out once, and that was it. If anyone on here has advice on how to get people to write the reviews they promised to give, please let me know. Also, if there are authors that read this, I will do a review swap with you. That way we both benefit from each other’s time. You can contact me in the comments or via email: goandria@outlook.com

What I’ve Been Writing


A couple weeks ago I finished a manuscript. It is a story based on a dream my wife had and thought it would make for an interesting novel. It was a fun tale to write and when the time gets closer to publishing it, I will release more details.

After editing the next book in the Goandria series I thought long and hard about what I wanted to write next. I decided I would write the final Goandria installment along side a different book.

I had an idea for a thriller. There is a race of immortals who subjugate the mortals and completely remake the world. That is the basis of the story I have so far. I managed to write 2000 words as a starting point so far, but many of the details need to be worked out to make a compelling story.

Character Actions Are Not an Endorsement of Behavior

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Characters are meant to be living entities in and of themselves.  They can act in ways both better and worse than the writer crafting their stories.

A writer may not be for thievery but may write about a thief, and the same can be said about any sort of immoral or deviant behavior.  The behavior of characters does not necessarily reflect the author’s own morality.  We live in a world where there are evil, careless, and self-centered people, and people simply have bad days and do things they regret.

My books are generally “clean” and family oriented because that is my target audience.  I also don’t believe in having over the top content for the sake of shock and awe.  With that said, I do see adding contented for the sake of being true to the character that might be unsavory.

As a writer and an artist, I don’t believe in censorship and stand firm that the author should be true to the character’s personality.  That may even include things that make the author or audience uncomfortable.  That said, the creator should also place some boundaries, there are certain things that are best left out of entertainment.  If there is a gory death, it is best to left it to the imagination instead, or implying it rather than directly giving an overly detailed description.  I have read scenes in books or movie descriptions out of curiosity that were stomach churning, the author should limit him or herself because there are certain things that are unnecessary.

Now, with that painfully obvious disclaimer out of the way, author’s including immoral behavior in a story doesn’t reflect the writer’s personal beliefs, at least not in a well-crafted storyline. Within the context of being sensitive to our audience, a writer is obligated to be true to the character.