Short Story in Progress and Genre Research

I guess it can’t be called a completed piece because it just got workshopped in class, but it is almost completed, I believe. This was a departure from my usual fantasy and sci-fi writing, which I don’t do very often. I went ahead and tried to write a story that is one we’ve heard quite often: woman gets into a relationship, relationship is abusive, woman runs. But I wanted to do it with a new twist, and out came a story called “Of Ghosts and Sky.” It’s a departure for me because even the tone sounds different, turning it into something else that I haven’t really written before.

Completed (almost?): “Of Ghosts and Sky”

Word Count: 4,777

Pages: 16 (double spaced)

It’s a good feeling to get something different out there. I can’t describe exactly where the story came from, but when my roommate read it she said she nearly felt a panic attack coming on. Apparently, my work still does the heavy feeling of anxiety/horror well, even when I’m not aiming for overtly horrific, and that’s what I wanted to bring across. So I’ve achieved what I set out to achieve. It’s not finished, of course – my workshop in class said I had some things to adjust to make it more effective, but I think that with some changes it can be a really effective story.

Speaking of doing effective stories: I am working my way through Stephen King’s non-fiction book, Danse Macabre, his analysis of horror in not only literature but television and film. It is right up my alley as part of my studies at college have been film and television as well as literature. I’m hoping that it gives me a better appreciation of what to look for to create more effective horror. It’s given me a lot to think about in terms of what kind of psychology and themology should be going behind every story, and where the horror in a story really comes from. I really love his analysis of classic monster/horror books such as Frankenstein and Dracula as well as his recommendations about things to go out and ready/see. I am certainly tracking down a copy of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House after everything he said.  I can’t believe the mess they made of the movie by comparison to what the book describes… though should I really be surprised?

I now have a list of stuff I need to go read, but I’m tearing my way through this book as best I can. I seriously recommend.

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