Retelling of "The Dent"
The following piece of flash fiction is one I was never sure what to do with. It's more of a vignette than a traditional narrative. However, it is still one I keep around and enjoy for some strange reason. Perhaps, you will too. Revisit the original post here, or continue below to read "The Dent" in it's entirety. It also happens to be the most popular story on the site within the last 30 days.
"So Whatcha Been Writing?"
It's been awhile since I've started a series in the Forbidden Blog, but as I travel along a seemingly endless path of life, I can't help but notice all the little things that keep a writer from writing. It's as though I personally need to jot down a handful of them, if for nothing else, as reminders for future Chris.
From my teenage years to my early twenties, I always felt as though nothing in the entire world could stop me from scribbling down a tale. Oh, how I was wrong! Once college concluded and it was back to an often bleak real world, obstacles positioned themselves around every turn that led to completing a story.
What you'll find below is just my personal observations and opinions. While some triumphs and hardships are universal amongst all human beings, not everyone's life is the same. Some writers have different enemies distracting them from their work; some have the same but with a different flavor. Perhaps, you'll relate to the entries on this list on some level. Perhaps, you'll want to suggest another enemy of writing in the comments. Perhaps you'll think I'm full of shit. Either way, I hope you enjoy the following 10 Enemies of Writing, starting today with the first five.
Enjoy a trip back to the summer of 2012, when I tried to make it on my own in New York City. While I ultimately headed back home to Indiana, my time spent in the Big Apple wasn't all for naught. Nerves wrecked, I found myself lost in Harlem, and what ensued that particular night inspired a tale from No-Injury Policy called "Last Stop." Continue reading below or check out the original.
Check out the most popular story on the site from the last 30 days.
"All Things Beautiful" is one of my personal favorites from my short story collection No-Injury Policy. It's a tale about a young boy who is locked in his bedroom while his family disappears. Keep reading below for an excerpt of the the story, or read the original here.
Behind the Tale
"Under the Blade" is a story I wrote back during my time at Ball State University about a father who will do anything to save his daughter. As a flash fiction piece, the tale is short and to the point. Consider it more of a series of vignettes than the longer sort of narrative you would expect from a novel or conventional short story.
The story has appeared in Down in the Dirt, as well as in the anthology Echo. It was also selected by the editors of Down in the Dirt to be feature in the anthology Ink in My Blood.
Read the story as a regular web page or in the blog format. Either way, I hope you enjoy! And many thanks for reading.
Back in August of 2018, I compiled a list of elements I felt made for a good horror story. Since then, it has become the most-read blog post on my website, a featured answer on query websites, and it has been linked in numerous discussions about horror around the web.
Without further ado, I believe a good horror story is broken down into fear, surprise, suspense, mystery, and spoiler.
This is how:
NANOWRIMO DAY THREE & FOUR:
Before, I focused more on the actual word count. This time, I am going to reflect on the actual mood & mindset of the writing.
NANOWRIMO & ME, YO.
This time I am going to work on a fresh draft of Ashland's Asylum. My medium will once again be 750 words.
Here is my goal: Write a brand-new 70k-word draft of Ashland's Asylum by Dec. 01, 2016. See how my first day went.
EVERY BLOG STORY EVER
FROM #NIP FOR FREE
STILL A LONG WAY TO GO
For those of you who might be new to NaNoWriMo, it's shorthand for National Novel Writing Month. In the month of November, writers all around the world drop all other lesser priorities to clack at the keyboard, hoping to knock out 50,000 words over the course of 30 days. You can follow my progress in this blog as well as on the NaNoWriMo website.
The first day of NaNoWriMo is generally pretty tough for me. Despite having piles of drafts and outlines, I tend to prefer writing on the fly and from memory during NaNoWriMo.
And that is why my numbers on the first day tend to be a little lower. However, there is still some more time tonight, so hopefully I can reach 1,667 words.
In case you haven't read the previous posts, I aim to write 1,667 words per day with a 750-word minimum. 2,000 words a day, and my entire worldview changes. Right now my word count is a little shy of 950 words.
These particular ratings are for "Strike" from Ashland's Asylum, which I'll dive into more next time. Until then, feel free to let me know about your NaNoWriMo journey in the comments. Or, check out where Ashland's Asylum begins in my short story collection No-Injury Policy.
Thanks for reading!
The term "trick or treat" was first recorded a few years before the 1930s. In the 1930s, there were no real rules regarding what kind of treat you should provide your cloaked visitors. In fact, candy was sometimes they very least of expectations. Sometime around the 1950s, though, Big Candy saw Halloween as a its golden ticket and pummeled audiences with trick-or-treat-based advertising while flooding stores with Halloween-themed candies.
Handing out candy had the appeal of simplicity. There was no more guesswork behind deciding which treats would be best for the holiday. You could just buy a bag of sugary treats and be done with it.
Due to mass production of candy, though, some less than desirable ingredients sneak their way into Halloween candy. While past lists about the Worst Things Found in Halloween candy mostly focus on more obvious malicious behavior, this years list will mostly focus on sneaky little ingredients that are a bit more scary than you'd think.
When asked "what is Chamber of Horrors NY", they answered, "The Chamber is Long Island’s Premier Haunted Attraction. A dark collection of mazes and rooms, it combines lights and sound with a cast unequaled in imagination and talent, not to mention bloodlust. Owned, built and staffed by industry veterans, we can proudly say that we are 'Where fear lives…'"
I absolutely enjoy haunted attractions, but at first I was a little unsure why this one wrote an article on the scariest elements of a good horror movie. However, after checking out the infographic below and reading the coinciding post - as well as a handful of others - I started to think about the presentation of any good haunted attraction. It wasn't all about dark pathways and ghouls popping out from the shadows, sometimes it was about the little details such as building suspense and drawing of your fears.
Time runs out on 10.14.17.
While it felt a little early to jump into Halloween-centered legends last week, this week we will inch closer to the holiday with the tale of a small town's secret staircase to Hell.
GATEWAY TO HELL
Story goes the Evangelical Emmanuel Church was possessed by Lucifer himself even when it became nothing more that rubble. Some said rain could never penetrate the church, even when its roof was torn off during a fierce thunderstorm.
And just further out from the church are said to be a set of steps you must never enter at risk of never returning. These steps lead you through the gateway of hell.
Although the story behind the gateway to hell was debunked and determined to be nothing more than the creative brilliance of some college students, visitors still flock to Stull, especially around Halloween, in hopes of crossing paths with the paranormal.
The visits over the years have left behind footprints on the entire town, unfortunately, and many parts of the cemetery were often vandalized, or tombstones were stolen. There was once an old tree the town allegedly removed to deter tourist. Many other attractions were also removed to keep people from hurting themselves and the cemetery. While the some of the Stull locals may advise you to stay away from the town altogether -- it's a not a tourist stop -- just remember if you're going ghost hunting on someone else's turf, don't be a dick.
For now, though, I'm going to address a handful of true and untrue Halloween candy myths, focusing on things that can poison you, get you high, and cut you.
WORST THINGS FOUND IN HALLOWEEN CANDY, PT II
CORALINE'S DAD MAKES YOU THINK
BENEFITS OF IRRATIONAL THOUGHT
10 WORST THINGS FOUND IN HALLOWEEN CANDY
But while some people enjoy a good scare, many don't and will go out of their way to avoid goosebumps. I can only imagine those who do not enjoy scaring themselves have a difficult time fathoming why on Earth anyone else would want to do such a thing. To tackle the subject, I covered the cons of loving a good scare in a previous blog post. This time, I'll focus on some of the pros. I'm not sure this will solve anything, but maybe it's worth taking a look at.
MAYBE YOUR BOSS IS A MONSTER
You might've even demonized your boss for a weak paycheck, a lack of hours, some personal comments, or favoritism. However, to play devil's advocate, your boss probably has a lot of responsibilities. When your boss has to focus on a lot every day, there might be some oversights, which really sucks when you're the oversight.
But what if your boss turned out to be truly possessed by a demon?
GETTING LOST IN NEW YORK
WHY DO YOU READ?
Sometimes my excuses are quite wild; sometimes I blame another book.
That's the case with this blog. Don't consider it so much as a form procrastination as much as a productive way to step aside from Excluded and look at some of the other horror elements I've come up with since the novel.
In this case, I reviewed some drafts of Ashland's Asylum as well as an older post called 6 Insane Cures for Insanity.
Although I'm reviewing some of the treatments from the previous post, to see what makes for an intense scene or two in the book, I can't help but continue diving into the other bizarre methods doctors once used to "rid" their patients of various psychological ailments. As always, feel free to let me know if one of these treatments deserves to be in the novel.
FOR THE FUN OF FEAR, PT I: THE CONS
NO INTERNET UNTIL YOU WRITE
5 ELEMENTS OF A GOOD HORROR STORY
sO GOOD, I DID IT TWICE. OR SOMETHING.
Chance Black, while not the writer he hoped to be, was a pretty damn good photographer. With his skills, Chance turned a dollar or two--enough for him, his wife, and his son to get by. One day, a comparatively sizable paycheck came along. An opportunity arose to photograph an event for the Long Brooke Sync, a local tabloid publication, but Chance had no idea what would come along with the cash.
By coincidence, one of his photographs captured suspicious behavior in the background, and unfortunately for Chance, the man committing the act figured it out first. In order to take the photograph back from Chance, the man in the photo decided he needed some major collateral.
"LUCKY SHOT" IS A SERIES.
CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS PARTS IF YOU NEED TO CATCH UP
IS IT BENEFICIAL TO FORCE ART?
Provide your answer below and then find out which response might be best for you.
Take a peek at the new coverart for my horror novel's re-release in 2017.
Perhaps you know some of these places are real, or at least, based on real locations. But perhaps there are a few you didn't. For no real good reason other than I like this kind of stuff, I've compiled a list of 5 Famous Fictional Places Based on Real Places.
THOSE WHO SEE DEATH
When you create a character with a special gift--or a dark power for the more nefarious--you wonder if the heart of the character's concept is believable. Quite honestly, if Lovefall suspends too much disbelief, to the point it's no longer enjoyable, then it's only my fault as the writer. However, I feel a little bit better after doing some research about 3 other folks who have claimed to have insight into death.
6 INSANE CURES FOR INSANITY
I've constructed the a list of the Top 6 Insane Ways of Treating Insanity--in my whatever opinion--and perhaps some of you might enjoy helping me decide which pieces of equipment to include in the story ? Hey, hey?
SATURATION: A NOVEL'S ENEMY?
I was fortunate enough to ask these questions to Red Fez editor and Literary Underground mastermind Lynn Alexander and New York Times Bestselling author of such books as Crank Ellen Hopkins.
Fear, focus, and the future. C.M. Humphries talks about writing, horror, and whatever.