Friday, October 10, 2008

Feel the Horror

I'm feelin' the horror.


So ladies and gentlemen, you all want to know how my book is going?

*evil grin* Peachy.

In fact, I'm killing people left and right, putting my main character into a coma and totally fucking up their world. It's AWESOME. Yes, I've been waiting to do this for a long, long time. I only have a fe more things to cover (like, the massive battle that decides everyone's fate) and then voila! I'm finished. Grand. I'm on break now - I had to stop before my brain melted out of my ears. But I'll be back in full swing before you know it and polishing off this baby (I mean, honestly, I should be able to do that in the next 50 pages!).

Hee. *excited*

Now, on to the real reason for this post, On Writing Horror by Mort Castle. Or rather, edited I should say. Most WPF people have heard of or read this book by now. It was recommended to me by my mentor Gary Braunbeck since I said, "I need some horror in my life" (or something similiar since I was coming to that violent point in my book).

On Writing Horror is a book chock-a-block full of writing essays that include advice, tips, methods, and just general writer info. Even though I'm not writing horror, I do have horrific elements in my book, and besides, most of us know that genres tend to cross over to include bits and pieces that are typically associated with other genres (mystery + romance, romance + fantasy, etc.). Whatever your genre, this book contains plenty of goodies that work out well for any writer. I particularly love Tina Jens quote about characters and ducks (see top of blog). Well it's true isn't it?

It really is full of great stuff, and it's the kind of book that you either want to take notes on or just start photocopying favorite pages to save for later (that is, if you're like me and have no money or, more importantly, shelfspace, and have to get everything from the library). I was also really fond of Mort Castle's essay when he talks about falling into that kind of dreamy spot in order to get ideas. I practically squealed and thought, "I DO that!" Stuff like that makes me feel good because then I'm not the only person out there doing these things. Dr. McClain was right - time with like-minded companions helps. I used to do things to get ideas and always wondered, "Does anyone else ever do this?" In fact, 120 pages of my current novel came about during one of those zoney sessions. I slobbed in bed for around an hour years ago and played the entire thing out in my brain before getting up, going straight to the computer and typing all day and part of the next day (and I never do that - take my ideas straight from my brain to the keyboard. I write everything longhand so yeah...). Course, a cut a good chunk of that section because there was no possible way for it to work in the story, but who cares? I still used a good part of it. High-five to Mort Castle for making me feel not like a mutant.

Moving on, it's a book with some good resources in it as well as information that I hadn't thought of before or hadn't gotten the chance to find out previously. True, most of the resources are for horror writers, but there are some in there that work for SF and F writers as well (maybe a few Romance writers too, depending upon your tastes), mostly because people, editors and whatnot included, tend to lump H, SF, and F together. Which is fine, since we mingle a lot. I liked the piece by Scott Nicholson on promoting your book. Most of that stuff a lot of us already knew, but he goes into more detail and points out the how and a few of the where to get items and extra info.

Great stuff. And now I'm onto my last book, The Everlasting by Tim Lebbon!

Read the review


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