Tag Archives: horror

Going Too Far

All right, this last week’s story was just plain wrong. It started out all right, about an eight year old boy who decided to go treasure hunting. Armed only with his mothers gardening trowel, he set off into the woods to find gold. Which he did.

He dug up a huge golden egg. It was planted in the ground in the middle of a clearing. He spent the day digging it out, then gave himself a hernia getting it out of the hole. He had to leave it in the woods due to his injury, but the gold was already having its effect on him. He didn’t tell anyone he found it, wanting to keep it all to himself.

Of course, his plans didn’t mean so much to his mother. She freaked out when she saw how filthy he was, and when she found out he was injured she dragged him to the hospital. The doctor diagnosed the hernia and told him to stay in bed for a few days, effectively grounding him. He also prescribed some heavy-duty painkillers which made sure he couldn’t go anywhere because they knocked him out cold.

After a full day of unconsciousness he managed to convince his mother he didn’t need the pills, then tried to stay awake long enough to sneak out to get the egg. Things didn’t work out that way though, and he fell asleep while waiting for the house to settle in for the night. It wasn’t an ordinary sleep though. He had a dream that his stomach ripped open and a monster burrowed inside, taking over his body and using him as a meat puppet.

The demon walked the two of them outside and into the woods to the egg. Our little victim was barefoot, so his feet got cut up along the way. The monster used the blood to paint arcane symbols on the egg, which then rose into the air and hatched.

A cloud covered up the moon just before the hatching, so the boy wasn’t able to see what came out of the egg. When it was gone, he was back in control of his body and ran home, where he started to wash off his mutilated feet. The bathroom door opened behind him, and when he turned to look he found a dragon had eaten his mother, and it was still hungry.

The story had so much promise in the beginning. I thought it would be a nice story of buried treasure. I thought that maybe I might make it a cautionary tale about the perils of greed. But then it went dark. Really dark. This is probably what I should have written during the week of Halloween, as it is definitely a horror story.

Maybe going too far like this is a good thing for a writer. Pushing the envelope can make a mediocre tale into a great one. Or, it could push it over the edge into the abyss of unsalable dreck.

What do you think? Did I go too far? Is this story better for the horrific events that happened, or is it over the edge? Would you like to read this kind of story, or do you think it should be burned in a ritual exorcism to cleanse it of the demons that have taken over my brain?

I’ll try to write something a little less creepy this week, but I won’t make any guarantees. Check in next Sunday to see how it goes.

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Why Does This Keep Happening?

So, what do we want to talk about today? Politics or writing? How about the fact that no matter how hard I try to write a nice, PG-rated story, somehow everything turns into a creepy horror-fest.

Is there something wrong with my brain? Have I got some strange kind of disorder that wants to color everything with Crayons from the Dark Side? Or have I just been watching too many zombie movies? (Is there such a thing as too much zombies?)

I do try to keep things from circling down the abattoir to Hell, but it isn’t easy. Take my last story, for example.

It started as a chase, with two people running from a group of soldiers. They came to a field, one where the hero apparently had some prior experience. He led the soldiers into the field, despite the fact that he knew he was in almost as much danger as they were. But he got lucky. He wasn’t eaten alive by the intelligent, land-based piranha people who lived there. Instead, their leader talked to him and somehow it turned into an impromptu wedding to the girl who was with him.

I’m still not quite sure how I turned a horror story into a romance, and it may not really work the way it is, but I’m counting that as a win for the side of goodness and light.

I don’t know what it’s going to take for me to write something that doesn’t require parental supervision to read. Maybe I need to be more careful about plotting out my story. Maybe I need to start watching and reading more romances. Or maybe I need to start hanging around with kids (come here little girl, I’ve got candy!).

Maybe not.

Maybe all I need to do is embrace my dark side and see if I can become the next Stephen King. Because if there’s one thing I have learned in my forty-plus years on this planet, it’s that life is hard and darkness is everywhere.

Depressing thoughts for a Sunday morning. I’ll see if I can do better on Wednesday. Wish me luck on my story for this week! (I wonder what it will be…)

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August 1 – New Month, New Goals

Today marks the start of a new month. I didn’t get a lot done last month, so I think it is time for me to set some goals for myself. The first goal will be to finish this short story/novella that I am writing about a huntress who finds out what it is like to be hunted. It is a post-apocalyptic horror story, and I’m still working out what kind of character development needs to be worked into the tale, but I have most of the plot figured out already. I started it a few weeks ago, and have been working on a major rewrite this last weekend. I have the edits about halfway done, and have already chopped about 1000 words out of the first draft. I want to finish it and have it ready for submission by the end of August.

Speaking of submissions, I heard last week that the editors of the Big Book of Bizarro (the ones that bought my short story “Losing Control”) have been working hard on getting the final proof done, and are hoping to have the author copies (and payments) ready in the next couple of weeks. I’ll be sure to post an update as soon as I have my copy. I’m also looking forward to spending my payment on additional copies for family and friends.

I have been thinking about goals recently, and I am starting to wonder whether or not I should have stuck with the ROW80 group. I miss the support I always had from them, and it wasn’t that hard to keep up. Kait is also cool with letting participants post updates with however best works for them. She also says that you don’t necessarily have to join at the start of the quarter, so I may pop back in if I start jonesing for my friends.

That being said, my second goal is to spend less time on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and other social nightmare media websites, and spend the time on writing. I also need to spend more time on my exercise bike. Being a writer means a lot of sitting as I write, and I need to get more exercise. Maybe I can use my Dragon Naturally Speaking software to do my writing. The only question is how well the software will be able to recognize my speech if I am out of breath from my workout. I’ll also need to figure out where to put my laptop so that I will be able to see the screen as I ride. Does anyone have any thoughts/experience with this problem? I have heard about people setting up a treadmill desk, but I’m not so sure about a bike desk. On the plus side, it is a recumbent, so I’ve got that going for me.

So that’s three goals for August:

  1. Finish short story/novella “The Hunt”
  2. Cut back on social media.
  3. Get more exercise.

That’s about enough for now. I’ll be checking in again on Thursday. See you then!

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July 25 – Life Is Interesting

I didn’t get a lot of writing done this weekend. Saturday my wife and I spent the day with family. First we went to spend some time with my family as we celebrated my brother’s wedding anniversary. My dad made steaks and we had a nice lunch without too much excitement.

Then we got in our little car and drove to Chicago, where my wife’s cousin was getting married. It was an outdoor wedding, and the only things that kept us all from melting in the heat were the fans/programs that everyone kept in constant motion. The bride was beautiful, the vows were sweet, and love was in the air.

And of course it was followed by an open bar.

And a ton of Greek food.

And dancing. I’ll never forget the dancing.

To make a long story short, I don’t drink, but it was certainly an experience watching other people partake. We left just before 10:00 PM, after the cake was served, and we made it home just before midnight. Long drive, little car, I was exhausted.

I thought about writing on Sunday, but I just couldn’t get up the energy to do it. Instead I spent most of the day parked in front of the television, soaking in other people’s stories and letting my mind consider possibilities for my own.

But today I wrote. I wrote a few paragraphs at work while I was on my break, and tonight I challenged myself to write 1000 words. I met that goal just before starting this post. My post-apocalyptic horror short story, “The Hunt”, is up to over 3800 words now, and I am getting into the meat of the matter. For now I’m just going to write it. After the story is done I’ll see what I can do to trim the fat and look at what kind of word count it will fit into.

And then I’ll see if I can find a market for it.

I like the story so far, and I am pleased with how it is coming out. The main character is speaking to me and the descriptions are fairly vivid and set the tone well. Hopefully I’ll feel the same way after the story is finished. I shared the first half of what I have now with the only person in my critique group that showed up last week, and she liked it too. I’ll let you know on Thursday what the rest of the group has to say when I share it with them tomorrow.

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