Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Interesting Story Formats

Recently, I've noticed some interesting story formats. By recently, I mean in the last year or two. 100 word stories, Hint Fiction (click here for a call to submissions) which is a story of twenty-five words or less. These are intriguing little snippets that can be downright disturbing.

I find these little tales fun to write. I've been writing them for a long time--not with publication in mind, though. I use it as a outline, actually. Three sentences; a beginning, middle, and end. I'm not major on outlines, I have very little use for them, but I have to get my ideas down or I'll lose them. So, I started writing out the beginning, middle and end in a single sentence for each. I called them snips for a while.

Anyhow, just a cool little tid bit (yes, pun intended). Check y'all lata.

Peace & Love, always

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Talking seriously about horror

Many people consider horror the bastard genre. That's just how it is.

"Oh, I can't read that! It's scary!"

Yes, yes it is. Fear is powerful, almost too powerful. The most powerful of those fears is the fear of being afraid. Most people do not want to feel fear because it is sheer, raw emotion that they can control no more than they can control their breathing or heartbeat. Human fears are inexplicable, like why the Earth is round or why twenty-four hour convenience stores have locks on the doors. We humans like to be in control. We like to know that we are in charge. But when fear is involved, our own power is stripped away and instinct for survival kicks in for some, or they huddle in a sobbing, squeaking mass of uselessness for others. Fear is uncontrollable. You can't just stop being afraid of spiders or snakes or the tooth-fairy.

When considering what fear is in it's self, a person is most times stuck for words. It seems undefinable. Inexplicable. But it's not. It's really not. Fear is a beautiful emotion. Some may argue that it isn't an emotion, but that is totally untrue.

Fear, for me, starts as a physical reaction. Breath quickening, heart pounding. Blood rushing in your ears. Sound familiar? Does anger not do this to you? Does love or lust? All emotions, remember.

Fear starts out physical, but eventually moves on to mental. Again, sound familiar? The mental aspects of fear are the ones I like to explore the most. The thoughts, the half-formed things we wouldn't dare to allow ourselves to think. Going beyond our boundaries and into the unknown areas of our hearts and minds. Fear is a sickness, an emotional reaction. Fear is physical, mental, emotional.

Fear... is powerful.

And I love it, my god, do I love it!

There are irrational fears that take a person back to childhood. A fear of heights or the dark for example. Both fears of mine.

The lights go out and I'm useless. I may cry, I may scream, I may mumble incoherently until someone turns on a light or strikes a lighter. It's incapacitating. And I can't explain it any better than the next person.

When I die, I'm being buried with a flashlight.

Now, how has a post about horror morphed into a post about fear?

Well, to write horror, the writer needs to understand fear on it's most basic level. Some argue that fear is one thing or another; reaction versus emotion, as I mentioned earlier. None of that matters in the least.

Fear, in its most basic form, is all encompassing. There's a loss of control, over body and mind. Panic, hysteria.

I'm not talking about running from a spider or getting the willies over a clown painting. I'm talking about, "Holy SHIT! I'm either going to die or go crazy," type of fear. Real fear. Hardcore, baby, hardcore.

Horror plays on fear. All things macabre and horrific... all things that drive you crazy with fear. The unknown? Perhaps. But really, what is more fear invoking than the possibility of loss of life, limb, loved ones? What is greater than that? Loss of mind? Oh yes. My worst fear is going insane.

Which brings me to another point. I write quite a bit about mental defect. It's a fear of mine and one most people can share, even if they refuse to admit the possibility of insanity frightens them. Imagine being in a mind that is no longer your own. In a frame of mind that has no end to the thoughts that intrude and provoke strong emotion. Imagine not being able to control the one thing that makes you who you are. THAT is what I write about, most times, in one way or another.

Scary? Oh yes, it can be. Being bipolar, I can write about the places in the mind that others dare not go. Those insane little places that are more screaming chaos than actual cognitive thought. I can do it. It just takes me a long time. I'd rather not go there more than I have to. Would you blame me?

Now, the fun part. I want some participation. Tell me about the side of fear that you don't like to look at. I don't want to hear about mice and spiders and snakes. I want to hear a deep thinking analysis of how fear manifests its self in you. And not just what makes you afraid... I want to know how you deal with fear. No mantras, please.

So? Tell me. How do you deal with fear? How do regain control? And is there, in some tiny part of your mind, a place that quietly whispers that this will never end? That this temporary insanity will become permanent? And if it does... does that little thought drive you closer to fear induced hysteria... or does it ground you and help pull you back to reality?

Think about it. Talk to me. I want to know.

But for now,

Peace & Love...