Tuesday, February 5, 2013
I'll Kill Anybody
I've been studying plotting. I have an unconscious ability to pace and plot works that are novella-length or less, but it has failed me a couple of times during the writing of novel-length works. I can't afford to write unusable tens of thousands of words. I don't have the time or the patience.
I've found some bad systems, such as one that simply makes conscious what I can do unconsciously, balancing each tiny section without looking at the big picture. Time consuming and--for me--worthless. But I've found some really good systems, ones that divide plots into themes and types and then give examples and branching options. What's funny is that so many of these require protagonist success (or at least strongly suggest it with warnings from the author that we not become so empowered by our artistic license that we forget the reader likes happy nice things). Boy, am I glad that I write horror.
I'll kill anybody. I don't care if you're an old lady, a little kid, or the goddamn protagonist. You're fair game. Even in horror movies, which have the forumulaic slasher genre, the survivor girl isn't guaranteed to survive the end credits, the final popout.
And that's the beauty of the genre. In any other, during a lapse in the action you can catch your breath and remind yourself that the good guy will win in the end. That safety net isn't there in horror fiction. The result is real tension.
Oh hey, did you know that The Hoard has been released in e-format everywhere? Here are a few links:
Barnes & Noble