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.
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.
I have said before that I am very nerdy. I love Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, and many more fantasy stories. Part of being a fantasy writer is immersing myself into the genre and absorbing as much as possible.
One day my wife and I were talking about funny plots, we thought it would be hilarious if there was a story about a man who thought his wife was a Dark Lady of the Sith. This guy is so obsessed with Star Wars that he literally sees the story’s villains in his wife. He is unable to tell the difference between reality and fiction and after some time he loses his grip on reality entirely.
Since I didn’t want to deal with the copy write of Star Wars I changed Sith to witch. The plot was then about a man who was absolutely paranoid and convinced his wife is a witch instead.
However, as time went on and I got feedback from beta readers it became clear that it no longer worked as a comedy. That feedback also aligned with a gut feeling I had about it. So a complete overhaul has been in the works, and that means it is doubtful the book will be out this Fall. The delay will mean a much better book, which to me is worth it.
In the meantime, here is the working description for the novel: Gerald’s life changed a year ago, leaving him moody, exceptionally hungry, and scared. He lives in absolute terror every day. It isn’t the typical monsters like ghosts that terrorize him, but his very own wife! For reasons Gerald cannot fathom, she has become a witch bent on hexing her husband, or so he thinks. As he attempts to survive his wife’s curse and the difficulties that come with it, he discovers a friend who helps him along the way and a new town that feels like it was made just for him. While Gerald’s plight grows worse, he begins to document his experiences, but little does he know, his wife has been keeping a record as well.
Due to spending a couple months on the second etition of Goandria: Visions of War, my next novel will be delayed. I originally hoped Crystal Moon would be out this month or next month, but that is no longer probable. I want to have the best book possible and realized Crystal Moon is best as an urban fantasy thriller, not a dark comedy. That means the editing and revising process will take much longer on top of already being set back.
There will be more updates as I continue to work on my next project.