Some lines are meant to be crossed (and tripped over)

Somewhere, at some point on here, I was complaining that anything in the realm of horror that I have tried to write in the past 2 months has come out to be this much more literary thing that has a “Look At Me, I’m So Important” complex.

Even my acceptance at 52 Stitches ended up being pretty heavily philosophical at the end (if you take the time to think about it).  It also happened to The Masks of Our Fathers (my failed NaNo project) and it happened to the story I was writing for the Footsteps anthology.  It is also an epidemic that is currently ailing a short story that I like very much that will not find a home until I decide what world it wants to reside in (horror, literary or slipstream).

So then I saw the guidelines for Devil’s Food.  My first reaction was, “Well, no use in even trying.”  And then last night I came up with an idea that is perhaps the sickest idea I have ever conjured.  It crosses a few lines, though.  The one I was most worried about is one that I think all aspiring horror authors struggle with.

See, in my opinion, the gross-out factor is pointless–dare I say even somewhat childish–unless it is done correctly.  And this story is disgusting at all angles.  But what I battle with is not only convincing myself to write it, but to write it in a way that makes the story sound as if it were written for something more than to be gross.

The idea in itself is too good to abandon so I’m going to try to write it.  I started the first draft this morning and have my typical problem…too much talk…I got 4 pages in and nothing horror-esque has happened yet.  But I think I have written so that you know from the first paragraph that something terrible is coming.

Anyway, that’s my whining for the day.  Tentatively titled “Today’s Bargain”, it’s about special discount products sold at a convenience store that keeps some very unusual hours…

Oooh, also, I got the first 3 pages of art from Issue 1 of Birdwatching From Mars today.  Thinking ahead, this story is also going to cross some lines.  (Then again, maybe there’s a bit of conceit in thinking that I’m being “new” or “edgy” in these ideas).  With permission, perhaps I will post some of the art next week.

Until next time…



  1. without a couple of lines getting crossed we wouldn’t know what was on the other side. I cross lines all the time, just ask my wife.

  2. I look forward to seeing the art!

    And man, don’t worry about all the talk. I think almost everything I write ends up having a couple thousand words hacked from it for just that very reason– I go on and on and philosophize, then go back and read it and think, “wow that was totally effing boring and I look like a pretentious ass.”

    I feel your pain. But it’s just a step on the road to a better draft, isn’t it?

  3. I like Katey’s perspective. The philosophical mumbo-jumbo is just a step to an amazing piece. Write the draft. Work through it, and leave the important bits. The message will shine through.

    Please keep crossing lines.

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