LET'S KILL CANCER (HORROR CHARITY) AUCTION : all monies donated go to Charity

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Birth Of A Horror fiend.

  As a writer (or for that matter, anyone affiliated with the world of horror) they will at some point no doubt get asked "when did you become a horror fan, what book, film, tv show, event spawned that creature in the night".    I'm writing this to tell you my story.   I remember being a young kid in Waltham, Massachusetts (if you've ever been there, you'll know it's a place between shithole and hell), but what they did have going for it besides the ample gangs was a huge public library. I ate up every title i could find of the Goosebump Series by R.L. Stine, but i needed more, i wanted more, so i politely asked the  librarian whom i should set my peepers on next. She smiled and pointed me in the short story collection part of the library, i lumbered over and started flipping through stacks of classic Authors, King, Bradbury, Poe, Lovecraft, the list goes on.
           That's when i hit pay dirt,  holy shit a creepy looking baby on the cover of this book, with a name i was vaguely familiar with at the time (hey i was only 11 years old people). The title of my next written adventure was: the small assassin by Ray Bradbury.  I thanked the librarian, who i swear had an evil grin on her face.  I rode my bike home as fast as i could and wondered what strange tale awaited me. Finally reaching home i put my bike away and take off for my room with my new prize in hand. I open the book and the aroma of a decades old book hits my nostrils, i inhale deeply that "old book" smell and begin to read.  
        Years later when I was in High School, we had a Ray Bradbury appreciation week  for his birthday and what was one of the many stories that we read that week? Of course The Small Assassin, it still captivated me all those years later and it still does to this very day. Bradbury had a way with not only words, but with emotions, he made you scared stiff, he made you look under your bed for something you damn well knew wasn't there. I remember my English teacher giving us an assignment on this short story, she wanted us to write an alternative ending and explain how we came to that conclusion and why?
       I had no problems writing a new ending to this story, but i felt odd i must say. I was treading on a horror (and Sci-Fi) icons work with my high school drivel?  How dare I, is all i can hear Bradbury say as I write out my version of his published work.  So i finish my three page ending to his story and hand it in with much reluctance, it's like a kid getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar.   Well to my amazement my teacher loved it, so much so she actually entered it in a contest for me on writing. I won, i am proud of that and I know Ray would be, but i'm still looking under my bed for that monster thats sure to grab me.....

Monday, September 23, 2013

Giving other writers advice on their work

 I once in a while get asked by friends and strangers alike to read their scripts and short stories. As a writer, I'm of course used to picking up mistakes no matter how major or minor, and inconsistencies. But that inlays the problem, do you as a writer be brutally honest with your friend(s) and these strangers? My simple anwser is yes, you should never sugar coat another persons work if they are asking for criticism. You should be tackful by delivering such news, I'll give you an example: "hey Jeff, I know you have the serial killer hiding the closet and he changed clothes in there. But you have it pouring out, in fact your victims car gets stuck at one point, don't you think the killer would've been dragging mud all through the house?" See, nice and not offensive plus you give them an idea to use what you suggested.
     If you get asked by people and agree to read their work, you don't want to be labeled a prick, so take the high road. Give them the dead honest truth, but always explain it in detail why it doesn't fit/make sense, remember this work is their baby and they're very protective of it as we are of our own work. 
      If they ask you to correct it or edit, at that point you should have a written contact drawn up so it clearly states you worked on that project. Of course there are numerous times where you'll do stuff for free because it's a close friend, ect. In closing if a fellow writer comes to you asking for help and you have the time, please by all means help them. But never lead a writer astray by leaving them in limbo by never looking at their work, that's bad for business.