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.
The only time I remember fishing was in Florida, on a dock out in the sun. It was burning out there and we had just gotten fishing poles from a Wal-Mart (or the Florida equivalent). Bait was from a little shop close by. I think they were frozen shrimp. Anyway, I never caught anything, none of us did. A fish large enough to break my sister’s line actually gave her a nibble. These were the cheap rods. We left a little disappointed.
In Zoology we’re learning so much about ocean life it should just be called Marine Biology. But man, fish are awesome. I know the scientific reason why sharks have to continuously swim and fish don’t. I know what makes them float too: swim bladders in fish, and livers in sharks. Tunicates are boring sea teapots. Perches are interesting to dissect, as are squids, turtles, and a freaking shark. They didn’t smell either because of the preservatives used.
I’m using what I’ve learned to create semi-realistic creatures. The fins and tail of a bony fish are supported by bone. That could be a useful weapon and defense tactic. The lateral lines in a fish allow them to sense changes in water pressure, the currents, or electrical charges. None of these carry very well over land, but what if the monster adapted well enough to sense electrical currents over land or air?
We’ll be screwed and worshipping Dagon and Cthulhu in no time! And they aren’t even the biggest threat. The Host is a scary movie featuring something from underwater and it devastated an entire city simply by instilling fear into the citizens and government. How did that movie get started? Chemicals were being dumped into the water. We have a problem like that with waste entering the groundwater- specifically, pig crap here in North Carolina. If radiation seeped into the water system, who knows what could pop out if it was mating season. It’s a very real fear, because we’re running out of places to put our crap.
Nothing I write about will ever get as large as Godzilla- not an aquatic creature anyway- and while I turn into a fan boy every time I see new Godzilla 2014 trailers, it’s time to let something come a little closer to home.
What I mean by that is doing something with the mogloop in the Nutmeg novelization, Radiation Road. Throughout the series he’s been called a Dragon-Squid-Thingy. I’m not sure that’s going to change much. The tentacles or appendages hanging down from its chin are going to be gone though. That’s just going into weird Davy Jones territory. Now, as an alien, it doesn’t mean it can’t be wild.
Tuesday we learned about toads, komodo dragons, and snapping turtles. Those three combined will create an awesome beast. He won’t have a shell. However, the jaw muscles of a snapping turtle start all the way at the base of their skull, allowing it to give us our favorite animal action. I’ll explain later.
Oh what the hell, why not?
Ha-ha-ha-ha, so awesome! I'm going the first day!
I try to keep my point of view in third person limited or first person. I can’t see everything around me. It’s one of the first assignments you get in an art class. Stare at your hand and try to draw it without tracing. Mine looked like the universal peace sign if I had just cut off my fingers. It’s a real test to what you can perceive and do with that perception at the same time. I noticed something while editing the first Feral attack in Ruby Caves. Take a look:
Sarah felt a hard thump against the back of her seat. She got the last of the padding out of her eyes and blinked the tears away. The pain flowing through her left arm was secondary to her rage. Doc finally got past the barrier of junk between the seats. William threw her M1911 standard issue at the werewolf. She didn’t see where it went. Doc launched upwards between Michael’s outstretched legs. Her heart lurched.
She could hear William finally jerking the gear into drive and revving forward. It threw the werewolf off balance. A marginally healed arm fell through the hole in the roof and dangled there, fingers searching air for anything to grab. Doc took advantage and again jumped at its arm. He missed by a few inches but instead bit into the soft flesh of the beasts’ calloused palm.
Sarah can only hear her son hit the back of her seat. She could only hear her husband get the SUV rolling. Her focus is extensively on the Feral because it’s trying to eat her. If I said Michael was an emotionless husk or something overly dramatic like that, it would go into 3rd person omnipresent. You, my reader, would be able to see something Sarah can’t.
I do something like this when Dave and Jabari are stalking the Case family late in Chapter 4. Observe:
Jabari and I were less than twenty meters away. He grunted and punched my shoulder. My gun dipped, grip loosened. I cocked my head and saw his claw pointing off towards our left.
My eyes were well adjusted to the darkness by now. We had been stalking through the woods for an hour. Another werewolf was peeking behind a cluster of trees halfway between us and the cabin. It wasn’t looking our way. Its fur was the color of wet sand. The forearm nearest us was matted with blood. It didn’t seem particularly worried about being seen; if only for the continuous plumes of steam rising out of its wet jowls. They weren’t smart, I knew that much, but the Feral camouflaged itself by dumping snow over parts of its body.
Dave can only see Jabari’s claw because once he saw where it was pointing the Feral would, well, obviously catch his attention. Otherwise Dave's job would be very difficult.
It’s not to say something like this can’t be written. 3rd person omnipresent isn’t a bad style in the right hands. But until I have more experience with writing different styles I won’t be able to do it. One thing I failed to mention in my review of David Jacobs The Devil’s Brood is the fact that he writes in this way. He makes it work. When there is mass chaos I could read the expressions and actions of most of the characters taking part. There was a lovely, easy flow to it.
This is one of the reasons I never put the raid in Ruby Caves. There was far too much going on for me to try to describe. Too many players I didn’t know what to do with- in writing. I know what I’m doing with them in my head, but putting it to paper would have been problematic. I’ll do another blog on why I didn’t put it in there soon. For now, try to see something you can’t.
Books are more like movies than you may have originally thought. For a while now I’ve been trapped in literary limbo for chapter seven of Ruby Caves. So I’ve decided to move on to chapter eight for a little while. This sequential order doesn’t matter until the final product. Take for example the hospital scenes in The Descendants with George Clooney and his family. Those were most likely filmed in four days before the beginning of the final movie.
Also, if weather conditions prohibit a scene from taking place the cast and crew would work on an interior scene. These events actually help move the… progress around faster. I’m better at writing action and drama scenes with emotionally charged dialog. Instead of getting caught up in the transitions or filler (more characterization stuff) I work on what I know is going to happen. Or I move to a different story all together.
I have another full-horror story coming and a quick comedy about how evil squirrels can be. The former is started but the latter isn’t. Branching to different things like that helps to spur my creativity.
Factual Errors Soon to be Fixed
1. Doc is a sesame colored Shiba Inu, not a brindle. I just did some research on that. The Akita Inu (Japanese breed) is the one that comes in brindle.
2. Morrigan and Death are very powerful but they just don’t chose to interfere with human lives that often. I said they weren’t all that powerful in my blog post Mr. Reaper Says No. I just wanted to give you guys/girls a heads up.
That is all, have a good day!
Have you seen one of these little scaly guys?
It was the prime character of a story I reviewed on writing.com entitled The Jesus Lizard. A mother buys her family a pet lizard which causes some issues in the food department. Here's the review:
Pinkies? Your writing style suggests a knowledge of (many) things pets, very humorous situations, and unsavory characters- who shouldn't really be hanging around animals. I remember my pets (I still have them, four cats and a dog.) Readers who own these little fuzzballs or scaly ones know your pain. Feeding them is such a hassle! I myself am a male, but I totally saw where the poor mother's fear came from.
So if you put "horror" as a genre it would work. Baby mice, much less frozen? Some Jesus lizard... Ha-ha-ha, I'm kidding. But seriously, five stars for a highly enjoyable story!
Now, you can read the story yourself. It is funny and highly realistic. Oh and if you are a member of PETA it might not be your thing. http://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1830538-The-Jesus-Lizard
College has been long so far, it feels like a week. My hands hurt. Why? The college I go to has some vague rule about no laptops in class. They're worried about me getting on Facebook or something during those dull lectures.... Well you know what? Not everyone is going to do that.
Some people want to visit the 21st Century! Strange is it?
With taking so many important notes, typing is far faster and has less strain on your hand. We all know how it feels to put pen on paper for so long. It hurts. Besides, if some asshole decides to look at something else during class; it's his grade in trouble. Not a class disruption.
I was prepared to start writing notes via computer twice and was stopped. I didn't bother ask anymore. So fine, have a majority of our work on the computer but don't allow us to access valuable resources. Computer labs sure, but I don't want to spend much more time there at campus than I have to. So sorry folks, I'll take my musings somewhere else.
My visuals require all senses within the reader and weather is one of them. So take this scene as an example:
Around two 'o clock today the water in my house started trickling. We thought it had something to do with the bills. It wasn't. Our time was limited to search the origins- did the rest of the neighborhood have this issue? Well I was off to walk a family friend's dog.
Any-who, on my way back I passed by the local creek. Reedy Creek. It smelled funny; sort of like sewage but less so. The current was strong and it was so murky brown there was nothing to see. I told my superior we need bottled water via text message.
GASPS! An author uses text message?!
Of course I do, welcome to modern times. Now to get back on topic I got home shortly after. Which was in all honesty not too long ago. I write this in my walking clothes. You see, North Carolina doesn't have too much wrong with it.
Lately however we had drought and two neighborhood issues with the water. Including the one today. On each water related event we have salvaged for bottled water. Those bottling companies have a lot of stuff going for them if this keeps up.
This is bottled water propaganda at its finest.
I don't give candy to many children on Halloween...
Why am I so unintentionally cruel? My house doesn't get any trick-'r-treating kids around here. I live up a giant hill. Near the end of a cul-de-sac; which is usually dark. Apparently nobody thought to put any street lamps through the entire community. Except for the tennis courts which close by eleven...
Anyways, none of those parents feel like protecting their children from this creature:
That's eighty-five pounds of solid chest fur and partially flabby stomach. While Annie is short for her size (notice her stubby legs), she is still a big freaking dog. No one knows what she is. In the above picture she may look like an oddly colored German Shepard but when she stands it is a different matter entirely.
These are the different breeds she could have in her:
Granted, while the little kids already have heart attacks when I answer the door to them, they don't need a dog to bark and salivate on them. Annie stays in the laundry room or outside in the backyard. Either way she is great at alerting us of trick-'r-treaters. Not only that, over the past few months we have trained her to me much nicer to people.
So kids, walk up the cul-de-sac and survive whatever creatures pop out. Come get candy and a heart attack. I'll be nice because my birthday is October 30. More cake and candy for me suckers!
I am an author. I am a fan of horror, thrillers, and comedy.