2: When applicable, the weather in a story will be its own, nearly sentient character. Humans and other characters will have to work around the weather to progress. This is most applicable in Manny, Wish List, and Ruby Caves. In Manny the severe thunderstorm actually provides the plot itself, but also works as one of most dangerous early threats in the story, leading to a rather gruesome scene. In Wish List the blizzard the Wendigo uses to hide in is suffocating and forcing the characters into a deep, deep isolation- perfectly articulating the cabin fever aspect of Wendigo fever. Finally, in Ruby Caves, it is the middle of winter in New Hampshire. I have done a little bit of research; it gets cold, and provides a lot of atmospheric horror. The werewolf abominations are not the only threat.
3: In a lot of popular media I see someone get infected by a zombie, Xenomorph, or hell, a demon and gets everyone killed because the infected thinks they can brave on through. Although, admittedly their teammates/family/friends aren’t self-aware enough to see that something is very clearly wrong until it’s too late. Why? Because we cannot have plot with smart people. I say otherwise though, and my characters will, if anything, at least communicate something happened at the nearest convenient time. It doesn’t mean they’re any safer, but not everyone has to die on account of them. I despise the lack of communication from some of these characters.
4: Assholes to produce fake drama. Fake drama is unfortunately almost as common as Trump screaming Fake News at everything. I’ve noticed that people are just a bunch of assholes to each other in fiction and start fights at almost all waking moments… and they’re supposed to work as a team. And then their plan falls apart because even though this team has worked together for more than a year (and are professionals) they act like little kids on the schoolyard during recess. Criminals have the worst examples. There are very few groups of criminals I can believe actually work together to achieve anything. Originally Dave was supposed to be the really quiet type, but as I’m writing An Autumn Leaf Falls, it fits better for him to build himself as a member of a working team (who have known each other for thousands of years) rather than be the common sociopath who only grunts one word answers.
5: Old gods and goddesses of mythology. A lot of them are dead in my universe, so they either go out on their own or form a cabal with a hodgepodge of different religions. Some are bad, some are good, and some never show up but are mentioned. Gods and goddesses that will appear throughout my stories are the Morrígan, Apollo, Baron Samedi (featuring in Ruby Caves), and various others such as Dionysus. I will typically try to stray away from commonly depicted deities. I want to give the smaller deities their chance to shine. This is the same principal I’m using when I write about mythological creatures such as the Wendigo or the Thunderbird. All of the deities and their culture will be treated with utmost respect. They will either play a major physical role in the stories (Morrígan, Apollo) or act as powerful “allied” confidants to the heroes (Baron Samedi, Dionysus).
6: Fights (specifically with inhuman monsters) are going to be extremely brutal and damaging to the human body. Of course, depending on where I am in the story, some will only be brutal enough to leave massive bruises or scars for the next few weeks. In terms of practicality I can’t have my heroes become so crippled they can’t do anything, and have another random character come in and save the day… Or could I? On a technical point, I will always throw the reader into the violence with the character. You’ll feel every scratch, hear your ears ringing with a roar, and feel bones snap. And don’t expect I’ll let go. You’re in it to the end. This theme falls under direct confrontation with these creatures, because, to fall under another theme- almost all of my inhuman monsters will be significantly larger than a normal human. I want to bring back the feeling of an old-school monster movie in some of my stories. Where the heroes (or villains), and audience take a nice long look up the creature’s legs, up to its face, and says to themselves, “Oh, we’re fucked.”
The scene I'm talking about starts at 3:54 where Godzilla's foot first appears, stomping, and the airport people (and audience members alike) understand that immediate respect is demanded.