Apparently, self publishing has helped me to evolve as an author and I hadn’t noticed it until now.
You’d think that the ability to release material without a gate keeper would drive me to release some of my darker ideas…to really delve into the sort of horror I wanted to write when I began trying to better myself at this craft. But what I have discovered is that it has actually made me consider the opposite; and that’s not just because horror titles often don’t get the sales numbers that other genres manage to pull in.
Working on my Everything Theory books gave me the inkling that I may be trying to stray away from horror. Don’t get me wrong…it’s going to be a dark series for the most part. Book 1 is mostly dark fantasy with some suspense thrown in. Book 2 is essentially a horror and mystery hybrid. Book 3 is looking to be almost strictly sci-fi/thriller. And through all of that, the dark little seed that got my writing to bloom in the first place has sort of taken a back seat.
Looking at the books I am currently working on (even on just a limited basis) there is only one horror story among them…and that one is centered more on the turmoil around the human characters rather than the supernatural forces they deal with.
So I started thinking over the weekend…what sort of story do I want to write? Once I get a good hold on the progress of the Everything Theory series, what sort of stories do I want to write next? It goes back to that question most writers are eventually asked at some point: “What book do you wish you had written?” My answers are simple and come in the guise of books and movies (Slaughterhouse 5, Se7en, Pet Semetary, The Great and Secret Show). I discovered, as I thought about this, that there are two movies that have always stuck with me as being great stories. One is surprising and one is pretty obvious.
While not much of a movie in regards to sales, acting, or maybe even not a great adaption of the book upon which it was based, K-PAX has always stuck with me and I’m not sure why. It’s sci-fi, but not really…it’s more of a drama than anything else. But it’s one of those movies I could watch a million times and never get tired of it. The planetarium scene (which I could not find on YouTube) is amazing to me. Plus, the ending (while somewhat predictable) gets me every time. I’d love to write something of this caliber.
Then, while mixing genres, there is Donnie Darko. Those not familiar with it assume that it is a horror movie. It isn’t. Or maybe even just a gory kind of movie. Not really. Those that have seen it can probably relate to my inability t0 categorize it. I guess it would be sci-fi more than anything else. While I can’t even begin to imagine the complexity of trying to write this story as a novel, it is still a pretty good representation as to the sorts of things I find myself wanting to write as of late. The first time I watched this movie, it was the following scene that let me know that I would always remember the film and that it was going to deeply impact my creative side.
So there it is. I have no idea which direction my writing will be going in the future. It’s nice to have the above-mentioned sign posts to guide me, but I don’t know that I can stick to them. Best laid plans are often the ones that lead us astray, and I think this is probably truer to writers and other artists than most other people.
How about you? What are the sign posts for your future projects?