Write Yourself into Horror

Getting off-seasonal with Eliza Dashwood (Word Ferret), for a horror writing prompt. I admit, I also read a lot of the paranormal chick lit stuff. Some may call it dark fantasy, paranormal fiction, etc. I think paranormal chick lit covers it well for me. Some of my favourite paranormal writers are: Michelle Rowen, Kelley Armstrong, Kresley Cole, Gena Showalter, Tanith Lee, Rachel Vincent, Katie MacAlister, Kerrelyn Sparks. Not hard core horror but I don’t enjoy being really scared.

In her post Eliza writes about her early discovery of vampires, in her own home. What would be your story for a horror tale? I am very sure you have had some idea for a horror plot at some point. Maybe not a romantic story. Maybe one with a lot more edge and real terror in your horror. Write an outline for your plot. When you’ve done that, could you put more work and energy into it and turn it into a full story? How about trying it as a short story for an online publication? Test the blood… I mean water, for yourself as a horror writer.

Eliza and her vampires think you should.

How to Make a List of Your Interests

I don’t think you can make a real list of all the interesting things you like (whether you participate or observe them) in just a few minutes. There are so many elements to ourselves, so many things we have caught in passing and so much flashing through our minds at any given time. But, if we were to just make a slow and building list, I bet you would surprise yourself with how many interesting, kitschy and/ or unique things you have taken an interest in.

Start a list, keep it pinned to a bulletin board, the fridge or anyplace where you can easily jot down another topic/ activity/ hobby as it comes to your mind. Don’t consider it a complete list until it has been quite awhile since anything new has occurred to you. You will see how interesting you really are!

Here is the start of my own list, by no means is this complete. I’m mostly looking for little things that I have almost forgotten myself. But some of the bigger things have to get out of the way (onto the list and out of my head) so I can move beyond them and find the little things.

  • ASCII art
  • old fashioned clothes
  • making Christmas decorations
  • Christmas baking
  • drawing cartoons/ comics
  • reading fantasy stories
  • drawing fantasy creatures
  • dragons
  • reading science fiction
  • Carmageddon (a car demolition racing game).
  • Empire and city building computer games
  • writing erotica
  • daydreaming
  • road trips
  • train travel
  • rocks, stones, pebbles
  • rural exploration
  • urban exploration
  • sewing, even mending and hemming
  • embroidery
  • crochet
  • paranormal romances/ chick lit
  • drawing for Christmas and Halloween
  • old buildings and architecture
  • astrology, mostly for online dating purposes
  • web design and development, as an amateur/ hobbyist
  • blogging, online writing and web publishing
  • the possibility of time travel
  • wildflowers and native plants
  • Wicca, Witchcraft and Paganism
  • old traditions
  • pioneer and old ways of living
  • pixel art
  • car art
  • Renaissance Faires, though I have yet to attend one
  • the supernatural, occult, paranormal – though some of it really spooks me.
  • herbs and cactus plants
  • end of the world/ civilization scenarois, mostly survival and building things back up
  • doll making
  • beading, have done only a little
  • papercraft like folding and cutting out images to make art
  • podcasting
  • writing a paranormal chick lit book
  • writing a syndicated newspaper column
  • zine publishing
  • linguistics/ words
  • digital scrapbooking
  • digital photography
  • collage
  • mail art
  • role playing games – RPGs
  • illustration/ graphic arts
  • copywriting/ copy editing
  • fashion design
  • interior design, furniture
  • recycling and refurbishing furniture, clothes, etc
  • green living
  • history
  • web usability
  • haiku poetry
  • backpacking travel
  • skating
  • nature crafts

More Women Should be Horror Writers

It’s been a tough, frustrating day at work. You get home feeling you just managed to drag yourself through the door. On the fridge, a note, one of those “gone fishing” type of notes from your significant other. In fact, everyone has gone out for the night. You will have the whole place to yourself until sometime tomorrow. Now that’s a real pick-me-up!

You begin with a long shower… hot water, your favourite scented body wash and shampoo. You even spend that extra 3 minutes in the shower letting the deep conditioner steam into the pores of your tresses. Luxury!  For dinner, there are some leftovers, some leftover cheesecake, some leftover ice cream and some leftover chocolate fudge cake. The cake will do for starters, an appetizer. Usually you have to sneak a piece before someone notices and nags you about those extra pounds. Tonight… you’re on your own! The stress of the day seeps out of you and the TV flicks on for whatever chick flick you find first.

The house is peaceful. It’s almost never peaceful. Even when it’s quiet you start to make cleaning lists in your head and soon you’re scrambling to get it all done again. Not tonight. Tonight the dim light as the sun fades just brings the peaceful silence that much closer. It’s comfortable.

So what is that creaky door sound? You know you’re the only one home.

If this were an ordinary chick fiction type of thing, the noise would be a surprise birthday party or something else nice and normal. But, this isn’t an ordinary piece of chick fiction writing… no… this is horror. Whatever the squeak turns out to be it won’t be nice, it may have good manners and it may even be pretty but, in the long run it won’t be nice at all.

I really think more women should be horror writers. The real horror is in ordinary things we can’t avoid: death, birth, marriage, politics, religion, health, food, shelter and clothing (the basic needs we can not live without).  Horror isn’t some monster a kid thinks is under their bed. Horror is the reality of the family going through everyday life and not being able to cope with bills, children and those dust bunnies under the bed that no one has time to clean any more. Horror is not having enough from your pay cheque to buy groceries. Horror is being told there’s a cancer growing in parts of your body that have always made you feel like a woman. Horror is realizing you will become an orphan and be alone in the world when your Mother dies. Horror is …

What’s your horror? Write about it. You could be a horror writer, if you think about it, write about it…

Horror Writer’s Association

Horror Fiction Factor

Pretty Scary – For women in horror, by women in horror.

Cemetery Dance Publications – Horror and suspense magazine.

The House of Horror Writing Laboratory

Cafe Doom – Forum.

Bloodletters: Why Write Horror?

Dark Markets (Not updated in awhile).

Dark Echo Writer’s Workshop (No longer an active site).

Dark fantasy seems to fall into paranormal fiction/ chick lit versus real horror of the traditional kind.I’m not counting out dark fantasy, I read it, a lot. But, there is a line that crosses into horror. There is a gruesomeness, a deathbed humour and a wave good bye to hope that isn’t in fantasy that should be in horror. There is no guarantee of a happy ending.

Fangs, Fur and Fey

Nocturne Author’s Blog

Deadline Dames

The Witchy Chicks

The following are the same group, on different sites:

Monster Self Help Guides

Molly Harper writes a series of paranormal fiction books about Jane Jameson, vampire librarian. I just finished reading the second book this morning. So nice to be lazy and finish a book while snuggled under the covers in bed.

There was a preview of the next book in the series along with her traditional pretend book excerpt which appear at the start of each chapter in her books. (Confused? You’ll just have to find one of her books and take a look).

The title of the imaginary book being quoted in the third book is: Love Bites: A Female Vampire’s Guide to Less Destructive Relationships. It made me laugh.

Write some ideas for your own self help guide books for monsters, fictional creatures or paranormal types.

  • Let Them Eat Cake!: 1,001 Fish Recipes for Lake Monsters with Finicky Appetites.
  • When Your Shedding Gets on Her Last Nerve: A Male Werewolf’s Guide to Helping Out Around the House.
  • A Real Scorcher!: Help for Lonely Dragons in Love with Human Sacrificial Virgins.

Let Sleeping Ghosts Lie?

I had a coffee date with a guy who has an interest in the paranormal and the supernatural. Things like ghosts, the Loch Ness Monster (known as Kempenfelt Kelly in the Barrie area or cryptozoology to the scientifically bent in general). I was looking forward to meeting him. I’m also interested in those things, not so much in ghosts though.

I’m afraid I do believe in ghosts you see. I’d rather not have the experience of finding out I’m right. If that makes sense. I used to see things and my Grandmother talked about ghosts she saw, until she refused to see any more.

The way I see it, anyone who was once human and comes back as a ghost isn’t going to be a happy camper in general. So, I’d rather stick to those who are still human, avoiding the undead, as there are enough monsters and upset, desperate people just among the living. Not that I think many people are like that. But, if you have to deal with someone who is, wouldn’t you prefer they be living rather than deceased? Doesn’t that whole ghost thing just bring in one more element of surprise too many?

Do you believe in ghosts and do you really think you want to find yourself seeing one? Or would you be happy to just wonder about it and let sleeping ghosts lie?

Old House Love

The people in the small town call it Grey House, it’s been abandoned for just over 26 years, but there is a charm about the old relic and it was built well. How can you resist? You pay the back taxes and pick it up pretty cheap. Sure it will cost a fortune to make it livable again, but the foundation is good, the roof has no leaks and you fall in love with the old craftsmanship on the wood, stone and iron work. There’s even a really amazing window with a very old stained glass window of a dragon.

It’s only later when you hear about the last owners, how they just disappeared never to be heard from again, that you begin to feel kind of creeped out. A local group of paranormal seekers (seem kind of a weird bunch) keep telling you the house is haunted. You don’t want to believe them, you love that house. You stay with it. Eventually, you forget the creepy feeling and start to feel you belong there. Renovations and restoring is bringing the house back to shape and its beginning to look like the old photos you found which were taken soon after the graceful mansion it once was was finished.

So you’re pretty annoyed when the paranormal group starts hassling you, insisting on holding seances in your house. They begin having weekly gatherings at your front gates. They start rumours about their version of what happened to the past owners of Grey House. They’re making a pest of themselves in general. How do you handle it?

Were- World Building

Getting into the paranormal romance genre… if you were a were-creature what kind would you be? There seem to be so many to choose from. The traditional werewolf has gotten a lot of company: werecats, weredragons, werebears… If you were half human and half animal what would your other half be? Once you decide create a world around you. What kind of world does your were-creature live in?