I'm going to focus on romance today, because there's nothing better to discuss on such a wonderful day. Below is a short, tender moment between Lt. Sarah Bryson and her husband, William Bryson, from Ruby Caves. This is an important scene. The hug, the quietness- a moment to let everyone relax before the extreme, inevitable violence. This is one of the parts where I actually (mostly) stray from putting my characters into emotional turmoil. Here, Sarah is fighting the past, even while remembering it. Remembering helps her keep focus of what's ahead of her.
Humans have always been capable of extreme violence, but as stated in my last post, not everyone has to experience it. I do not like physical conflict and try to avoid it at all costs- so far I have been successful. Although I joke with myself and others that I watch enough impromptu street fight videos to know how to fight now…
Violence in the world is a terrifying, brutal thing to watch. Some experience it often. Others may never see it their entire lives. Regardless, it is a catalyst or reaction of conflict in many of my stories. For this reason when I portray violence in my story I have made a habit of attempting to not glorify it. We have seen those really gory movies that appear to rip people limb from limb, eviscerate them, behead them, and more. We know the tools of the trade. I am going to discuss the detail I put in my stories, and the reactions of my characters. This post is devoted to creature violence seen in Ruby Caves.
One of my New Years Resolutions was to write a romance with no paranormal activity or violence; just a normal, sweet romance. What better time to start it than around one of the most romantic days of the year? The plot is simple. A man with Sideditus who must live with the disorder: every time he sneezes his body inexplicably jumps to the left. He is led to another person with the disorder and teaches them how to cope.
Back in October 2015, I released a few excerpts from my stories Mutant Cowboy Space Pirate and Ruby Caves in PDF format. If you haven’t read Halloween Excerpt 2 yet, check it out. Otherwise this post won’t make too much sense. This is about the werewolf problem in a sleepy little town in northern New Hampshire. During a violent werewolf attack on their cabin at a resort, Michael, the primary protagonist, discovers his father is also a werewolf. I only put in a couple of paragraphs about it in the excerpt, to find a clear enough ending for it.
Personally, I don’t mind gore in visual media. It can be hilarious; most notably in Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. Or, it can be frightening- a most recent example (that I have personally seen) would be many scenes in Late Phases. In literature, if you see me reading something gross, you’ll see it on my face. Even though I am a gorehound, I still have the reaction the filmmaker/author/artist is expecting. Unless I’m online, I don’t see too much gore in art.
I’m editing pieces of Ruby Caves and some of it is even too much for me. I’ll give some prime examples below. On my documents I highlighted the offending sentences, and when I’m done writing them in the blog, they will be erased.
Earlier this week I was fifteen pages into the cabin attack of Ruby Caves. Everything was just starting to go to hell for the family when a furry animal got in my way. The family dog Murdoch. I could probably blame burnout on why I stopped in the middle of the scene. I had burned through five pages that day…
I signed into my university late and ended up taking a class called The Art of Storytelling. On top of actually coming up with our own pieces, it was more about public speaking and how to compose yourself in front of others. Some of the lessons from that class was an assignment where I look at a picture of stick figures and write a story about it.
When I asked my American Literature I professor if I could do a short story in the style of Poe, she was ecstatic. I’m glad she was ecstatic, because this was a really fun write. It took me two days to write the initial story (Thursday and Friday) and then I spent Saturday night editing. At the beginning of the English paper I introduced the general themes running through Poe’s stories and told her my intentions. I have lost that introductory paragraph somewhere along the line. That kind of sucks, because I thought it was a great start.
Edgar Allan Poe crafted a perfect murder mystery in The Cask of Amontillado. Great murders have strong motives; however, Montresor appears to have none. Is he insane? Absolutely, and that’s a perfectly rational explanation for burying a drunk old friend alive. Unfortunately for Montresor I am as stubborn as a student looking to get an excellent grade on his paper. My purpose was to expose him, and I did. Wikipedia had some excellent theories on the murder and I went to the cited works provided to find what I could.
I’m writing the ending to Ruby Caves, and I thought I needed to make my villain scarier than he already was. Mom pointed out that werewolves don’t need to be more frightening than they already are. She shoots down my ideas when necessary, and I’m glad she does. Otherwise I would be stuck in a cycle of getting nothing done for a long time.
My plan was to have mind control involved in the story somehow; I would have had Erika turn against her father at a crucial point in the last battle. It would have made everything worse for the heroes. There are a couple of reasons this would not work- one of which can’t be explained due to spoilers.
I am an author. I am a fan of horror, thrillers, and comedy.