Writing Horror

I don’t think I’ve a hand for this, either.  I had my wife read the part I just wrote, in italics, below.  She wandered off muttering “I like your romance, better.”  As if I can effing write romance stories!  She praises me with faint damns.

The taxi sat silently in its parking space at the small lot at Okadama Airport. The driver’s side seat was fully reclined, allowing Maya more easy access to the driver’s brain. After finding clothes and money at Neuroi, she’d taken the rail south into Sapporo city. At the main rail station, she’d wandered about until locating the cab station and asked a driver to take her to the airport. Arriving at Okadama, it matched nothing in the memories she’d eaten. The driver said the big airport was an hour to the south, but she’d not been specific! Would she like to pay for a drive there, too?

She’d reached around from the back seat and crushed his windpipe. Maya thought about the next step, ignoring the gurgling as the man slowly choked to death. She scowled slightly; had she not killed him, he could have driven her to the other airport! Ah.

She would learn to drive a car.

She left the vehicle and looked about. There: a small bamboo patch. She inspected and rejected several shoots until she found one of just the right size. Returning to the back seat of the car, she shut the door and dropped the driver’s seat back. He was almost dead.

Maya tore out his left eyeball. With a sharp drop of her right fist, she rammed the bamboo tube through the back of his eye socket. Oxygen deprivation kept him from fighting back more than feebly. Wrenching the shoot up and left, she put her mouth to it and began sucking his brains out.

See what I mean:  clinical.  This isn’t an horror story, it’s an autopsy report.  I don’t know what to do to ‘scare’ the reader.  Yes, yes:  I chose something outside my comfort zone to push me as a writer, but maybe I shouldn’t have done that in combination with NNWM!  The other half of the story, with Chris and Cat, is coming along nicely:  romance!  Well, sort of.  Too much exposition, but cleaning that up is what December is for.

Official Word Count:  9032.

NNWM – Jumpstarting

I say jumpstarting as I’m taking a still-born idea from over a year ago and using those characters and location as a rough framework for this novel.  Re-writing and re-editing (yes, I know:  editing is for December; but if I didn’t do it now, I couldn’t have used any of that material) gave me about 1,000 words, gratis. There was a NNWM Write-In here at the Licking County Public Library – although I’m the only one here – and in the past 90 min, I was able to add another 1,000.  Good first day.  It’s my typical “start the story in the middle” approach, and even then, I’m jumping about with flashbacks.  Still not quite got the hang of horror writing, but I’m sure I’ll work something out.  The closing of what I did today is below the fold.

Continue reading “NNWM – Jumpstarting”

Countdown to November

This weekend shall be the calm before the storm… mostly spent doing laundry and vacuuming about the house.

November 1:  there’s a NNWM write-in at my local library.  I’m hoping to stop by after work, from 1745 to 1900.  They say “Bring your writing materials, inspiration, and an open mind.”  So I’m bring Nichole (the laptop I’m using now) and coffee & bourbon.  And I’ve always an open mind; just don’t talk your PoMoTranzi crap around me.

November 2:  Parent-Teacher Conference for Daughter #2.  I wonder if her homework about the election where she wrote “Hillary is pro-death,” and “Her closest advisor is Huma Abedin, who is also her lesbian lover” will come up in conversation?

November 3rd:  Some meeting from 1800-1900 about the church’s Xmas Bazaar.  I’ll sit in the back and try to write.

November 4th:  MILO in Columbus! W00t!  If there’s a meet-and-greet I’ll present him with copies of my books!

Let’s have a nice, death-and-tumor-free month.  For all of us.

Updates

Only fourteen days left until NaNoWriMo begins.  About a week ago I finally dug out the script I’d written for what would have  been the webcomic, Poisoned Hearts, thinking I recalled it well enough to serve as a first chapter.

Oops.

While I did recall most of it, the characters were already reforming in my mind for the new story; so, personalities are different, huge timing changes . . . at least the locations….    Nope:  I’d reimagined what the lab at Neuroi looks like, based upon my horror short.

So as it is, what was a first chapter of material is now a stack of notes for Cursed Hearts.  That still puts me miles ahead of where I started two years ago with The Fourth Law:  one mental image and a 20-second sound bite.  Barring any unforeseen RealLife consequences – as such happened last November – I’m feeling very good about this project.  Of course it’s tempting to actively make notes now, but I think that violates the spirit of the month-long challenge.  Dreaming, okay; notes, not so much.

My other October project:  converting my father-in-law’s oral history into written history, has also not gone as well as I’d hoped.  Once I sat down to write all that I recalled as a framework for him to add onto, I realized just how much I’ve forgotten over the past ten years.  Sure, I can ‘see’ the images:  him and his cavalry detachment caught in the second floor of a Polish cheese factory when a Red Army platoon motors up.  Him in a AVO prison, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs to his right and a 2-star general to his left.  I think I shall reallocate this to January, when it’s dark and cold and we’re all inside (December will be given over to editing then publishing Cursed Hearts by Christmas).

Not much meat in this post, but that’s what happens when a writer is between project.  Expect things to get very interesting quite soon.  Cheers!

 

Write Right

Had a conversation with a day-job co-worker yesterday.  She’d asked if I’d finished my fourth novel, Crosses & Doublecrosses, in time for NaNoWriMo.  Nope, I replied:  that whole “wife diagnosed with cancer” thing was a bit of a spanner in my plans.

However, after some reflexion, I wondered if I would have finished in time if that had not happened.  Outside of a handful of Robert Ludlum books as a late teenager, I really have no experience with espionage and political fiction.  There were many times I stared at the monitor, unable to see anything of a story to write down.  Was I losing the ability to make up stories?

A week ago, completely out of left field, came this:  a writing and drawing contest from a Japanese/American company called Voltage.  It wasn’t the US$5000 prize that caught my eye – no, really – but the facts that, one, this is for a visual novel (something I do know something about), two, they give you the characters and scenes (all I need to do is create dialog; breath life into the characters, as it were), and three, it’s a cute little story.

Cute.  I can do cute.

So, last Tuesday, while my wife was getting a port installed in her chest for her chemotherapy (which started in-patient on Thursday), in the two hours or so I was waiting, I hand-wrote about 2200 words for the three scenes.  Just like that.  So easy!  Apparently I didn’t lose the ability to see stories.

I’ve since typed it up and done some basic editing.  I was concerned that what I wrote for Scene 3 was not in-line for romance stories directed at women; I read part of the scene to my wife last night at the hospital.  “You’re suspiciously good at writing make-out scenes,” she quipped with a slight glare in her eyes.  Hey:  I grew up a geek and later became an engineer; people like me never had many girlfriends, but that didn’t mean we didn’t think about it… A LOT.

And, me being me, all of what I do hangs together in one way or another.  You might catch a glimpse of that in the teaser below the fold.

Continue reading “Write Right”

Iter

My girls had a swim meet in Mason, Ohio, this weekend, so it was something of a working vacation for me.  Vacation in that it was the first time since January since I’d slept anywhere but in my own house.  Working in that I tried to get some more story written down.  And I do mean written:  typing is a bit problematic when sitting on bleachers at a high-school pool.  Perhaps I’ll make the NaNoWriMo cut off; perhaps not.

travel

Up this AM at 0400 to get my wife to the airport.  She’s off to Houston for tests and consults this week for her lymphoma.  It will be a busy time for me, what with day job, girls’ club activities, and whatnot, until her return.  Writing takes another hit….

NaNoWriMo – Holed at the waterline*

*Just ‘at’ mind you, not under.  I still might be able to salvage this.

Last week, my wife had a small lump removed from the upper left side of her nose.  It was something I would have ignored, but fifteen years ago, she had a fight with lymphoma.  Ha, ha:  jokes on us.  The biopsy of the small tissue mass was positive for B-cell lymphoma.

So, morale about the house is rather shattered right now.  She’ll be off to MD Anderson in Houston, likely in a week or so, for more tests and consults.  That leaves me spending all my time on Daughters #1 and #2, and not on writing “Crosses and Doublecrosses.”

I’ll get it done; I just don’t think it’s going to be by November 30th.