This blog post should shed some light on the “Biggest “Ah-ha!” Moment in Writing!” web series, which began on the 17th. Each article will be 1-3 paragraphs long – short and concise. They will be posted every other day, in random order, to include a few authors who may not be as well known. This is for you, some of biggest names in the horror industry, to collect your thoughts on writing, the genre, and the industry you work in. The goal, in two parts, is to create one spot where writers and readers can hear from their favorite authors about writing in their favorite general, and to bring editors, publishers, and magazines to the table to discuss what works (and doesn't) in the horror industry.
Here, new and old authors alike can read about the subtleties of writing, directly from some of the best writers, editors, and publishers in the industry. Many of the Bram Stoker winners and nominees over the last few years have decided to join this series. I want to thank each and every one of you for agreeing. None of this is possible without your contributions.
How this project came about: The idea came while taking classes with Michael Knost, where we have "Ah-ha!" moments all the time. As we began to see things click in ways we had never thought of before, I thought many of you must have these same moments sprinkled throughout your writing career. Sharing that experience can only help other writers in today’s ‘self-publishing’ world.
What things do you wish you understood when you first began writing? We all have that moment when we finally ‘get it’ about something that catapults our writing in a new direction. These things change us, transforming how we read, think, and even interact with others. These could include subjects like the importance of location, religion, clothes, names, family support, time away from a piece, peer reviews, or even query letters.
Ramsey Campbell will be discussing how nausea does not equal horror. Another is covering the value of research. Other, less obvious choices are out there. There are subjects like the transformational power of your character's occupation. How to describe the details, showing AND telling, the number of characters that should be in a novel, the short-story pitch, finding open submissions, approaching an author about mentorship, learning from reading, the importance of a character’s clothing, their geographical area and the religion / culture of said area, where to begin, listening to those around you, or how to show back story are all possible things to write about. Should you write a prologue or not? How should you do dialog tags (He said, she said)? How do you approach a period piece? Do you use accents or pauses in dialog (and why)? How do you make a line count? What does 'Every word must move the story forward' mean to you? You could even cover how you approach a novel synopsis, outline, or the writing process in general.
There are so many subtleties in writing that we could talk about this for years.
Perhaps you do not have an “Ah-Ha!” moment. If you are an editor or publisher, what would you want authors to have a better grasp of? What do you wish more writers understood? Or, better yet, what myths are there in writing? What problems do you see the most often? What is the vision of your magazine or publishing house? How can an author stand out? Should they be commenting on your networking sites often, or is their writing generally enough to get in?
To live a moment of your life, we have a chance to see the subject through your eyes. The hope is that writers like me will have our own “Ah-Ha!” moments as the series progresses. This will be more than the typical ‘Writer’s Block’ and ‘Show, Don’t Tell’ articles that get thrown around the internet like candy. We want to see a part of writing in a whole new way. Try to think outside of the box if possible, covering anything that, with a better understanding, could help the readers.
Subjects can be duplicated, as no author will approach the same subject in the same exact way.
A list of who is involved, and what subjects they are doing, can be found here: Schedule and Subjects.
I very much look forward to reading each and every article. Thank you to everyone who has joined. Also, thank you for sharing your secrets with me; you are not only helping me become a better author, but so many others. Be sure to include any links you would like to share at the bottom of your post and a brief bio.
~ Draven Ames
~ Draven Ames