Horror Thatโ€™s Getting Under My Skin

Up until recently I’ve rarely seen a horror movie that got under my skin. I say movie because I’ve only started delving into horror novels recently.

Aside from being grossed out by the odd scene here and there I’ve never really felt uncomfortable in a way that I now know horror should do. The first I noticed this was last year when I saw The Ritual. This is a film that was based on the novel by Adam Nevill. When I watched that film in the cinema I remember feeling a long way out of my comfort zone, but I still got through it and really enjoyed the movie (I’m looking forward to reading the book itself soon as well).

This week I’ve started listening to The Silence by Tim Lebbon. Tim Lebbon is a name I keep seeing pop up, and after meeting him at Bristol horror con last year and hearing him on a couple of podcasts (Three Guys With Beards & The Horror Show With Brian Keene) I knew I needed to check out some of his stuff. At the con I brought off him his book After The War, but knowing what a slow reader I was and that The Silence will be released as a movie sometime this year I believe, I wanted to read that one. So I got it on audiobook and although I’m only half way through it, it’s got under my skin. I thought The Ritual had an unsettling affect on me, but The Silence has gone deep. I almost stopped listening to it a quarter of the way through. It is so carefully crafted to trigger the readers own fears, even to the point where it feels like Lebbon’s written it just for me. Some of the elements here feel personal in a way I’ve not felt from a book before. That’s not to say books haven’t had an effect on me, because they have. Hell, a few have had me chocking up while others I’ve been punching them air in triumph and celebration.

As I was listening today I was thinking I’ll be finished it by the time I finished work at 3pm tomorrow, but I had to leave a day between the quarter way point of it and where I got to today, so I might resume it Monday and let the events in it sink in a little.

This book is really getting under my skin, and although it’s making me feel this way that’s what I feel is good horror. For horror to really work it has to make you feel how this is feeling. If I had to give this a rating right now it’ll easily be five stars.

I don’t have any ideas how this book will end, but I’ll be going in headfirst to find out.

Advertisements

Savant By Nik Abnett

Okay, so Savant is the story of Tobe and Metoo, and I don’t really want to say more about the story, simply because I don’t think I can give much of a description of it without giving something away.

Savant is a damn good, slow burn, which unravels as the pages pass. I found it to be a page turner which surprised me at how quickly I read it. I am a slow reader but with Savant I zipped through it at quite a lick for me. I think it was three weeks that I smashed through it with the last half of the book in about a week, which is pretty impressive for me. It really pulls you along and it’s easy to read it in small doses and not loose the momentum of the story.

The pace of the story is impressive, it never feels like it’s speeding up or slowing down but just leads up to the story’s climax very naturally. There’s no real world building in the story, but everything you need to know is revealed as the story progresses, and revealed at the right time to give the answers needed.

img_1230

The writing is very beautiful and it was easy to picture what was going on while not having too much detail of the surroundings inserted into the text.

If you want a book that spoon-feeds you everything, or is action packed, then this isn’t the book for you. If you want something that has depth, a little mystery, varied and engaging characters. A storyline that slowly gains pace to it’s climax, then this book is worth checking out.

Audible Experience Update

I signed up for Audibles one credit (book) a month for ยฃ7.99 (I think thats the price, its about that anyway) a few months ago and I’m incredibly glad I did. So far I have downloaded nine audiobooks, and four of them have been from the one book ย a month plan and the rest I’ve brought in addition to the monthly deal. Two of those were books that I’d wanted and saw that they were discounted and the most recent three have been from a special offer Audible were doing.

I am really happy with the service that Audible are giving here, and I wished I’d done it much sooner. I can easily listen to an audiobook a week while at work and come next year once my finances are settled even more then they are now then I may look into upgrading to the two audiobooks a month program.

My biggest problem with this now is which audiobook to listen to next, not a bad problem to have ๐Ÿ˜‰

More Work Then I’d Expected

My plan for today was to get stuck into making the changes I’ve made when red-penning to Earth, After Liberation. I’d figured if I did ten pages a day I’ll be done in about two weeks, but I’d hoped for a good start today. It didn’t work out like that. As I started to look through the first page I realised I had a story, but it had no structure, I didn’t even have chapters!

So, instead of making the edit notes I’ve spent a fair part of the day figuring out where to put a chapter break, and making the odd edit here and there. Once I’ve finished putting this into some sort of structure I’ll print it all off and red-pen it all again. I’ve also got to go and do some location scouting, all of which is near me and within a forty minute drive. The story is well planted in my head though so aside from one big change in the story, which is more of a location change then a story change, theres not a whole lot I have to do. I’m confident of the story and although I may add some content here and there I’m not going to change the direction much. One area I will be focussing on will be some scenes where I feel I’ve been lazy and explained briefly events instead of showing them. I’m only about ten thousand words into working out the structure and I can see I’ve done it far too much already.

I’d like to say I’ll have the structuring done this coming week but I’m not setting a hard target with that. I’ve got The Residents and Project Apollo jumping about my head as well so they may demand attention.

Speaking of The Residents; I spent most of last night working through the timeline of events from the bullet points I wrote down recently and found more then a few holes but I’ve found it helped out quite a lot.

Last week I also had my first bit of feedback from Beta readers on my Vampire collection ๐Ÿ™‚

I know these last two items weren’t related to Earth, After Liberation but I forgot to put them in last nights post ๐Ÿ˜›

A Quick Update

I had last off to go and see Transformers (yes, again) but back on it tonight. I’m part way through a story so I’ll be aiming to get that one wrapped up tonight. Most of last week was lost to a little ill health, nothing serious, so I’m biting at the bit to get stuck in again. I had a really productive day on Sunday which got me about halfway through with this red-penning run.

Yesterday I did have a couple of thoughts pop into my head about a few plot holes I have, so those need to be thought through and I need to find how to fix them.
I also realised that I may need to add in another story to cover an event from a different character’s point of view. If I do I’m not going to make it a long one; unless the story takes over I’m thinking it only needs to be 1500-2000 words, but I’ll see how I feel once I’ve finished the red-penning.

Another One Done

Today I’ve had a 2100 word morning which has wrapped up the short story I’ve been working on for my vampire collection. 6600 words in four days all in; which I’m really happy about. I’m quite happy with how this story went as well, despite the fact that it went off in a totally different direction to what I had, roughly, planned. As it did this it totally screwed up two other stories which happen later on. One of which has a first draft done, and is the last of the collection. The other one is just a rough synopsis at the moment but because of the events in the story I’ve just completed I’m not sure where I these two will go. The one that’s completed i could still use, but i think it’s not going to be in this collection. The other one will take some adjusting of the synopsis but I think i can still make it work nicely.

Something I think these changes could benefit is that I can use this new story thread more down the line then I and originally planned. I feel like the characters who have messed up my plans have a real flip-side to them that’ll be a lot of fun to explore.

Good Morning

It’s Thursday, it’s early and I’m still half asleep so I apologise in advance for any typos ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Due to a little ill health, nothing too serious, I’ve not done much at all this week. Add in a trip to the cinema last night then I’ve really had a slack week with writing. Although I haven’t been doing too much physical work I’ve been working through ideas for some of my various projects and also how I want to get my work out into the wide world.
Although I’m not published yet I do feel part of the indie community. I have a lot of good people around me that are self-published and are white happy with being an indie. I also know people who are traditionally published who also are very happy with how they are getting their work out into the readers hands.
The way I’m looking at the writing industry, and this is from the outside, is that it hasn’t settled into this day and age quite yet. I think it is slowly but it’s more the smaller publishers that are being open minded. No I’m not saying I could go out and get a book deal a piece of cake but I’ve got to admit I would quite like to get published by a publisher at some stage. I’ve not mentioned him for a while but a big idle of mine, both in what he rights and how he is getting his work out is Scott Sigler. Mr. Sigler has just signed his second book deal after having five books published, at least one of those got onto the New York Times best sellers list. But he also publishes a series of novels himself. He is a good example of a new generation of hybrid author that seem to be emerging now and that is what I’d quite like to try and do.
I’ve got a story that I want to start submitting to the magazines and see what traction I can get with it. The only thing holding me back with that is me, I just need to break that psychological barrier and send it out into the world and see if someone bites and says it’s what their looking for.

That’s kind of the strategy I’m going to working with, I just need to start getting more work finished and either self published or submitted.

This strategy does not include the collaborations I’m working on with Chrystalyn and Owen respectively. As those are collaborations it’s something that I and my partners will decide how to sell when the time comes.