For those of you just joining in, I’ve been working on a new fiction novel for some time now, one I began a few years ago, back when I was unknowingly in a struggle against narcissistic abuse. I wanted this novel to be my second work, but I several short stories and novellas were crying for my attention, and so that became ‘Strange Stories, Twisted Tales’.
Later, when the smoke began to clear, I found the concept of the story – inspired by a number of interests and beliefs of mine cultivated through time – to be intriguing, and began work in earnest on my second novel length work. As I picked up the pieces of the story and worked on establishing a general outline, the project grew a bit in scope. I’ve always been a bit long-winded, but I’m comfortable with that, at least in first drafts, but as I worked on the details of the story, I realized I needed to deal with the effects of the events on the Main Character’s mental health. The story took on an entire new aspect with that realization, and it has proven to be the right decision, if preliminary reactions are to be believed, lol.
Now, I’ve come to that point where I basically have to pull whatever strings I’ve laid out in the story together, and turn it into a plot that makes sense. This means taking a critical look at what I have plotted so far, making sure those strings I wish to tie up will, at some point, be tied neatly. Sometimes I have to condense or trim things. This isn’t an editing phase, not really – more of a course correction. Once this is done, the remaining distance is always easier to travel, and the journey all the more rewarding.
I’m still looking to have this newest novel finished before the end of the year. As it gets closer to release, I’ll have title and cover reveals, so stay tuned!
Until next time,
In most horror movies, and in most novels in the genre, the treatment of the emotional effects of the events experienced by the main characters, including the protagonist, seem to be done in either one of two extremes: it is either ignored, or the character becomes a victim of the emotional/mental effects, going of the deep end to become the final victim or the next generation antagonist. In movies, this is easy to explain; the events are condensed in order to tell a cohesive story in the running time of the film. In many cases, the story takes place over a short period of time. Psychological horror is the exception to this, of course, as the entire story is centered on that very aspect. That being said, there are also exceptions to this, and those exceptions often prove to be excellent portrayals in their respective mediums. I believe Horror is at its best when the emphasis is on the emotional aspects of the characters involved, especially when it comes to prose.
In my upcoming fiction work, the events take place over an extended period of time, which will have the quite natural effect of affecting the mental health of the protagonist. As I suffer from the effects of depression and anxiety related to years of narcissistic abuse, I will be drawing from personal experience to describe the effects of these events on my MC in the terms of the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress. This is proving to be both the most challenging and rewarding aspect of this new novel, and I look forward to being able to have it ready for beta in the next few months. I’ll be giving more details in upcoming posts.
Until next time,
Why do I write horror? I suppose every writer is asked at some point what inspired them to write about the things they do, and I found myself thinking about that tonight (connected to certain memories that have been playing unbidden of late). I’ve answered that question before. On the author page of this very site, I describe some of the events I and others witnessed in my childhood home, and how it changed my perception of the world, and how it made me think about the true nature of reality. This was an inspiration, to be sure, but that is but one among many. When I was younger, I wrote more comedy than I did anything else. I can still be funny – in my own way – when I feel inspired in that direction. I’ve written emotional pieces on the state of the human condition, technical papers, editorials, and just about everything in between. Inspiration does not necessarily dictate a choice in genre.
Yes, growing up witnessing certain unexplained (or difficult to explain) phenomena and events had a dramatic effect on my view of the world, but there were other events just as impactful. During that same period, my grandfather and his family had two contracts put out on their lives. I could just as easily chosen spy thriller fiction or police/investigative fiction, or forensic detection. Any genre I chose would be written with the same ability in terms of plot, description, and dialogue (whatever that level of ability may be).
For artists, all creation is an expression of their perceptions, and they are driven to express these perceptions, as opposed to someone who produces a product. I’m not making any judgement on which is better; I am stating my observations of what defines an artist.
So again, why did I choose to write in the horror and strange fiction genre? Inspiration is part of the equation, I suppose, but upon reflection, I know it is only a portion of the whole. I think the real reason I write in this area is because I’ve witnessed a good deal of horror in my life, personally, in the lives of others, and in the systems that govern our lives. In some ways, I see it still, every day. Writing helps channel those experiences, to keep them from becoming a permanent resident within my inner being. I think this applies to most true artists, and most definitely applies in my case. In the second half of my life, I’ve suffered events that have left permanent effects, and that too adds a sense of impending mortality, which is one factor I believe is common in most who write in the horror genre. The lasting effects of those events, physical, emotional, and social, is best lessened by creative endeavor, and when those effects are most severe, the more creative I am driven to become.
So there you have it; some personal reflections from yours truly.
Until next time,
My new fiction WIP is nearing the halfway point on the first draft. I am currently working on chapter 26 of 52 outlined, although this may be subject to change. This novel will be something of a departure in some ways from the standard, but I really cannot say more without giving it away. A few close friends are in the know, of course, because I’m basically a hermit and it gives me something to talk about on those rare occasions where I take a break from my cloistered life, but I don’t like spoilers, so I’ll be keeping things under my hat for now.
I do my best to write every day, although real life and physical limits do intervene from time to time. I am hoping to have the first draft completed sometime around mid-May, although this too will change. I’ll post further updates in the future.
Until Next Time…
I’ve been writing quite a bit lately. The Muse was very lively for awhile, and when she rests, I transcribe from hand-written journal pages for my upcoming non-fiction work. This latter is harder for me to write. The account of my life during that time is not an easy thing to relate; to transcribe the events of that period is to relive those events in my mind, and for people with CPTSD, that can be especially difficult. I hope, in the long run, that I will be able to help men who are experiencing narcissistic abuse to avoid a similar outcome. To date, that manuscript stands at 97,293 words.
There is still a ways to go on both my works in progress. My new fiction novel is about a third of the way through the first draft. My Muse has been on a break, allowing me to catch up on the non-fiction work, but I know I will be back to writing on that strange tale soon. This novel will be as different from my first two as they were to each other, with elements of both horror and suspense, with a little metaphysics and science thrown in for good measure. It is the most fun I’ve had writing so far, and I hope to have the manuscript finished within the next few months.
I’m also trying to post more here, and increase my social media presence, something I’ve neglected for far too long, and I’ll post more information about that as it develops.
Stay tuned folks, there’s a lot more coming in the future!
Until next time,
New horror fiction anthology Out Now
My newest book, ‘Strange Stories, Twisted Tales’, is now available on Amazon US in both paperback and e-book formats
It is also available on other Amazon markets, but I don’t have the link to those. Please search by title or author if you are living outside the Amazon US delivery service.
And now for the cover reveal!
Cover – Strange Stories, Twisted Tales
This new volume is more than just a horror anthology; it contains short stories and novellas that span a number of genres, all with a touch of the strange and bizarre, and a bit of dark humor here and there.
Some are horror,while others could be classified as suspense, strange fiction, and even a touch of sci-fi. So please, feel free to check out the link!
Please feel free to leave a review. I always appreciate feedback.