Anyway, let’s get back to mutilating my story. In the first four pages I got rid of… I forget. But it was more than four hundred words, I can say that. Either way it was much closer to 8,000. My transitions were cleaner and the flow smoother. Otherwise the horror wouldn’t work. The Wendigo’s interactions needed to be swift and brutal with Josh and Old Poe.
With these changes already in place I could do more with the violence. Overall it’s bloody, yes, gory? No. There are only a few gory scenes where one’s limbs are strewn about. An old friend of mine, Mark B., suggested this: “Use psychological fear in the human,” he said in photography class, “Go gory for the Wendigo’s view.”
To me it was an awesome idea. Not too many stories put the reader into the monster’s (inhuman) shoes. Some authors do, but not many. Author, Story, Perspective---
- Jack Kilborn, Afraid: Biologically Enhanced Super-soldiers
- Stephen King, The Stand: Randall Flagg & the Trashcan Man
- Robert Crais, Taken: Kidnappers, The Syrian
- Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men: Anton Chigurh
- Dean Koontz, Intensity: Edgar Foreman Vess
Note: Randall Flagg and the Biologically Enhanced Super-soldiers aren’t truly human, but they mostly are.
I knocked the wolves and Mayor Martin Scone out and freed up over a thousand words. They took up as much words as they did the picture they represent. It doesn’t mean the wolves aren’t there. Remember where the Wendigo is looking over the land? They’re still down there with the other “forest refugees”. Our sleepy little mayor was useless in the story all together. I’m moving him south to Ruby Caves, New Hampshire.
Josh’s second dream sequence didn’t move the plot forward either. I liked some of the dialog so I moved it to the waking world. It needed to be logical for the reader (which was at the time, my mom, the editor) and skipping the mess was the way to go. With the dream out of the way, I could introduce the Wendigo’s perspective on the waking world. Jenny doesn’t have any more screen (paper) time than a Law and Order corpse. She turned him down, boom. That’s all you need to know. Her character is explained throughout to fix the broken continuity. Sometimes the most important characters have bit cameos or are only referenced.
Algernon Blackwood first exposed the unknowing world to the Wendigo’s madness. Jack Fiddler hunted them down in the early 1900s. Larry Fessenden used his movies. Even TV shows like Charmed and Supernatural have used the beast.