I’ve written nine pieces of flash so far this year. A few are short, semi-interesting things, but nothing I’m really planning on developing. The ones that glimmer like stars in the night are the weird fiction I’m starting to explore; dark vicious urban fantasy, brutal super powers, and the depths of post-singularity fiction. I’m crossing some boundaries with these pieces of fiction and it’s starting to make me wonder about some of my existing stories.
I admit I wasn’t always interested in writing weird fiction at first. It’s a genre I’ve discovered a lust for and have started to fall in love with during my time reading and writing as an “adult.” My interests started with fantasy, then Sci-fi, and now border somewhere between the two. I’m only a recent convert of Lovecraft and books like The King In Yellow, but I’ve been a gamer and reader in the strange realms of Shadowrun and other cyberpunk, and my love of the darker sci-fi movies like the first Alien movie and Event Horizon kept with my through my teens, always on the border land, becoming ideas wanting to cross over in the night only to return as twisted haggard victims of shadows. It’s really in the past three years that I’ve been starting to crack into those skulls and dig at the tasty-tasty dark ichors within. And I like it. Especially my short fiction I find the dark little eldritch tentacles starting to show up, and I start wanting to bring out the worse in my characters.
What comes next, I’m not certain. The novels I’m working now fit snuggle just within the borders of YA save for a scene or two in the full novel from last year. I’m not planning on taking either story down a darker path, but there are hulking dangerous things moving into position to be the next major project, and they’re as eager to lunge forward as I am to rip them from my brain box. It’s likely I’m finding a candidate for the third novel this year, and I’m so looking forward to reaching that item in the late summer. Seems appropriate to write about darkness during the bright season. Gotta have a balance to fix all that bright sun right?
I’m going to be starting up reading more items in this genre as I develop a style. While I already believe I have a unique flavor of fiction with ingredients from all the media I’ve absorbed, I know I’m still developing a style that will become my public face. It’s a strange concept to know your flavor of imagination gets manufactured into your art and prose, and seeing how I carve these fractures of another reality into whole worlds is probably my favorite part of writing. Up in the brain box ideas, people, and places are all jumping shadows, strange twisty things that go through a metamorphous at a whim of my own or their own discretion. Even formatted into digital or physical stock, these deviants change, and it’s only the items I release publicly that become static. Reading the items in the weird genres helps my ability to bring these creatures to focus, and deny their abilities to run amok without my permission. It’s why I love diving into King, Lovecraft, and Chambers and absorbing as much as I can to create a strange Frankenstein skill set of weird cryptic stories. While the bulk of those works have a terror feel to it, I wouldn’t call all of them horror though and in turn the stories I’ve developing with those lessons aren’t set firmly into the place nightmares, but they do learn from them.
It’s a year of change, as is the central theme of this month, and my fiction is the major steam ship sweeping down oily waters of creativity. Realization of the rivers ahead and the talent needed to navigate these waters will be the turning point for my career. The weird fiction is a beacon amongst those shores, and one of the various places I can and will explore in coming months and years. I hope I’m a worthy student of that set of craft though, and can show my respect for the pieces that have come before me. Genre bending will be a growing experience that can conquer my current knowledge base about Fantasy and Scifi, but again that goes back to why I like the label Weird Fiction writer, rather than Sci-fi or Fantasy writer. The Weird offers so much more, removes so many additional boundaries, and lets add far more challenging works to my personal collection.
As an aside I’d like to share my favorite place to find weird fiction these days. Part of my plans this year is to attempt to submit to this market sometime in the coming year if I can write something that can appeal to the stranger listeners of the Drabblecast. It’s their haunting and strange pieces that prompted me to start exploring Lovecraft more, and I’ve fallen for the unique worlds the podcast presents. It’s a great audio magazine and if you’re into the weird fiction flavor it’s the best source to get a hit.Read More