Posts Tagged ‘The Autopsy Kid and Doctor Sarah’

If you’re reading this, it means two things. One is that I finally have internet at my new condo, so glory hallelujah on that. The other is that I’m probably going to watch the latest episode of Ms. Marvel and get all caught up for the finale on Wednesday (I know where my priorities are).

So, with so much going on in my life and in my writing career, I thought I’d do a post on all the things I’m working on and where I am in them. Given that it’s been a while since I’ve updated you all on certain projects, it felt necessary. And hell, sometimes I need a reminder of all I got going on! It’s a lot to keep straight in this wacky head of mine.

And since that about sums it up, let’s get into it. Without further ado, here are updates on what I’m doing.

The Condo

Off the top, let’s talk about the condo. At this point, I’m almost entirely unpacked and am making a list of projects and changes I want to do for the place. It’s going to be a lot of work (and a lot of cash), but I think I’m up for it. Especially with the help I’ve been getting from friends, family and contractors.

In the meantime, I’m living and liking it here. In fact, I’m planning on posting some photos of the space soon (if I haven’t already), and maybe even doing a YouTube video on my new writing space. And I’ll definitely be posting about homeownership and the search for a home in the future. Is that unusual for this blog? A bit. Is it something I want to talk about here anyway? Yes, so look forward to lots of news about the condo in the future. 

That Which Cannot Be Undone anthology

The anthology project I’m working with my colleagues here in the Buckeye State to highlight Ohio horror and Ohio horror writers is still coming along. We’ve been going over what could end up being the cover art for the anthology, and sending edited drafts of our stories to our fabulous editor. At this rate, we should be on schedule for an October release.

And given some of the stories I’ve read already, it’s going to be an awesome anthology. I can’t wait for you to read it.

The Pure World Comes

Nothing to update here from yesterday, but the audio book is still coming along. Just thought I’d mention it.

Hannah and Other Stories

Back at the end of June, I sent the edits for the second story, Queen Alice, and an initial polish of the third story, The Autopsy Kid and Doctor Sarah, back to the publisher. They’re now looking through the draft and making further recommendations for the story. After that, there are four more stories to edit, and then hopefully we can set a release date for this collection.

Other Projects

I’m shopping around a bunch of short stories and novelettes, trying to find them a home. It’s difficult, but since when has playing the publishing game ever been easy? And I’ve already had some success this year, so there’s a good chance I’ll get a few acceptances.

Speaking of which, The Dedication of the High Priestess is still on track to air on Tales to Terrify at some point this year, so keep an eye out for updates on that.

In the meantime, I’ll be editing They Sleep Within the Rock (AKA the novella where I let my frustrations out and terrorize some white supremacists). I may then let someone beta read it before editing it again and finding somewhere to submit it. Hopefully, someone likes it enough to publish it.

And I might start a new story I just had the idea for tonight. I don’t know why, but it feels like a winner.

But after that…

A New Novel

Yeah, you read that right. I’ll be working on a new novel when I’m not working on other projects. Specifically, I’ll be working on Crawler, the mummy novel I planned to start last year before Hannah was accepted. I actually looked at the outline I wrote last year and have already started thinking of ways to improve the story (including a better working title). Once that’s taken care of and I’ve edited the novella I mentioned, I’ll hopefully get started and create one hell of a horror novel.


Well, that’s all I can think of right now. If I come up with anything else, I’ll be sure to give you all a shout. So, until next time, good night and pleasant nightmares. I’m off to deal with my first supernatural invasion of my condo. Curse you, Undead Moon Bear! You’re scuffing up the hardwood!

Placeholder cover for Hannah and Other Stories.

As many of you know, I’ve been preparing to move from my apartment this weekend and into a condo. (And if you don’t, now you do). However, when I haven’t been packing, I’ve been trying to meet my obligations as a writer. The most important of these is to get edits done on one of the stories in Hannah and Other Stories, my upcoming collection of short stories. And damnit, I just finished it today.

So just to recap, Hannah and Other Stories is a collection of short stories I’ll be publishing with BSC Publishing Group. There are seven stories in the collection, and I just finished editing the third, “The Autopsy Kid and Doctor Sarah,” about a girl’s relationship with a budding psychopath. It’s one of at least two edits I’ll be doing on this story for the next draft.

You see, during the revisions for the second story in Hannah, “Queen Alice,” the editors brought to my attention that I was doing more telling than showing and that I needed to work on that. They recommended that I go over “Autopsy Kid” after finishing “Queen Alice” to try to add more instances of showing and otherwise fix it up before they went over it. That way, I might get some lessons in better storytelling and they would have less notes to make regarding edits.

So, how did this first round of edits go? Really well, I think. As I said in my post about showing vs. telling, I wasn’t sure I understood the concept too well, let alone applying it in my writing. But “Autopsy Kid” is the longest story in the collection, so there were plenty of instances to practice. Indeed, I found plenty of places where I thought I should show rather than tell, and I think it worked out. The result was a more fleshed out story, with an antagonist who seemed more like a dark force of evil than a young boy with severe mental issues.

We’ll just have to see what BSC says. They have the manuscript now, so they’ll look through the story and let me know what edits they think I need to make. With any luck, showing vs. telling won’t be one of them and they’ll see less issues than I did on the first run-through. After that…well, we’ll see. Probably they’ll send me edits on the next story, “Fuselli’s Horses,” about carnivorous horses.

Yeah, you read that right. Carnivorous horses. I come up with the scariest, craziest shit.

And while I wait for those drafts, I’ll be moving and working on the first draft of the audio book of The Pure World Comes (which is coming along great). And after that? Well, we’ll see. It wouldn’t do to jump ahead of ourselves, now would it?

Anyway, that’s all for now. I’ll update you as updates come, especially for Hannah and for my new place.

And if you would like to support me, or if you would like something new and scary to read, I’ll post links to my books below. They’re all amazing stories that have received a lot of love over the years (Snake and The Pure World Comes especially have gotten some good feedback recently), so I urge you to check them out. And if you like what you read? Leave a review online somewhere! Positive or negative, I love reader feedback, it helps me out in the long run, and they help other readers decide what to read next themselves.

Until next time, my Followers of Fear, good night, pleasant nightmares, and don’t befriend children who like cutting things up.

The Pure World Comes: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, Goodreads

Rose: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Audible, B&N

Snake: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Barnes & Noble, iBooksSmashwords, and Kobo

The Quiet Game: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooksSmashwords, and Kobo.

In one of my previous posts, I talked about struggling with showing vs. telling in my stories. At the end of the post, I asked for advice, as I was about to tackle “The Autopsy Kid and Doctor Sarah,” the longest story in my upcoming collection Hannah and Other Stories.

Well, I’m not sure if I’m getting any better. But between the advice everyone was giving me in that previous post and the practice I’ve been getting in, I feel like I’m improving.

Since talking about my issues with showing vs. telling, I’ve started on that story. And while it’s been agonizingly slow at times, I feel like I am recognizing the right moments to expand on and include more detail (showing). In fact, just a couple days ago, I started on a new section of the story and the entire first paragraph was the most summarized thing ever! I was almost ashamed that I wrote it!

Anyway, that led to a pleasant hour of expanding that paragraph into an actual scene so that it was more interesting for the reader. I made extra special effort to describe the character’s experiences through their five senses, as well as their feelings. And I think that not only did I get a much better scene out of it, but I think I was able to emphasize how twisted my antagonist is even more.

That being said, I’m the only one who’s looked at my efforts so far. For all I know, my efforts and changes may still be rather messy attempts at “showing more, telling only when it’s necessary.” But how else do writers improve? We read, we write, and we keep practicing and letting people help us so that we can become better at our craft.

So even if my efforts here still require some work, they’ll at least be the foundations upon which I get better. And that’s never a bad thing.

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. I’ve got a busy week ahead of me, but I hope I’ll be able to announce some good news very soon. And no, I’m not retiring to write full time, starting a breakaway Jewish sect revolving around Lovecraftian entities, and magical girls, or pregnant. If any of you guessed that, you’re way off the mark.

Until next time, good night and pleasant nightmares!

You know, I’m honestly surprised that, in nearly eleven years of blogging, I’ve never once talked about this subject. Well, no time like the present, right?

“Show, don’t tell” is a common phrase taught by creative writing classes and preached by writers of all stripes. Yet actually figuring out what each one is, how to tell them apart (unfortunate pun intended), and then avoid doing one versus the other is really difficult to do. Especially in your own writing.

Or should I say, in my own writing? Yeah, during editing of Queen Alice, the second story in Hannah and Other Stories, one of the notes that kept popping up was, “This is telling. Show it to us!” And while I managed to get something that would satisfy the editors down on paper, it still left me wondering how I was supposed to do this for future stories. Especially for those in Hannah.

Well, I did what I always do when I’m stumped: I do research. And while I’m still not sure I have the method down, I think I gleaned a few gems that should help.

First off, based on what I’ve found, you don’t just give up telling entirely. You actually do need to tell some things. Telling is good for things like quickly moving through parts of the story that aren’t integral and don’t need a lot of description. A better way to phrase this rule would be, “Show more, tell only as necessary.”

Next, what are showing and telling? Well, “telling” is a lot like summarizing. It’s quickly laying down the bare plot events in quick succession. There’s not a lot of description, but it’s enough to tell you what’s going on. Another way to look at it might be as thinking of the way fairy tales are told. Fairy tales don’t have a lot of details. Instead, they just tell us what happens. For example:

Drosselmeyer gave Clara a gift. She unwrapped and opened it. Inside was a nutcracker. She picked it up and instantly fell in love. “It’s the most incredible toy ever!” she said.

Yes, that’s Nutcracker, though not the original 1816 short story. But it illustrates the point, so who cares?

As for showing, it’s more detailed. Well, that’s oversimplifying it. Showing can be thought of as painting a picture that engages most or all of the senses, as well as what’s the character’s thinking. From what I can tell, the idea is to give the reader enough detail so that they not only see what’s happening and feel like they’re there, but maybe even feel the emotions or sensations the characters are experiencing. Here’s what I think might be a good example:

Hank’s muscle fibers snapped and tore apart like Twizzler Pull-n-Peels, before retying themselves into new braids. His abdomen heaved and roiled as, underneath the skin, organs shifted, burst like rotten fruit, and formed into new shapes. He could hear his bones cracking as they changed positions, stretched and folded in on themselves. And all over his body, his nerves screamed as his body shrunk in some places, elongated in others, and created new structures alien to his form. His mouth swung open, and what might have been a scream vibrated out of his throat. To his ears, it sounded like a train whistle, and he thought he saw whisps of steam rising into the air from his lips.

That was from no particular story. I just tried to paint a picture. And even writing this, I’m not sure I was successful. On the one hand, I want you to feel Hank’s pain. But on the other, I’m aware that I have only so much space, so I need to get through it one way or another. Balancing here is a difficult feat.

Maybe that’s another thing about showing vs. telling: with short stories and novelettes, you’re more tempted to tell rather than show. After all, with a novel, you have plenty of space to go into full detail with a single moment. To show, in other words. But in a shorter work, you need to economize your words, so you can only show when it really matters. Otherwise, you tell people what happens and give them enough to go on without using too much space.

Hoping I get better at showing vs. telling before this comes out.

In any case, it seems there’s still a lot for me to learn when it comes to knowing when to show and when to tell. Hopefully, with more practice, I’ll get better at distinguishing those moments and then how to show effectively. Perhaps with the next, and longest, story in Hannah, ‘The Autopsy Kid and Doctor Sarah,” I’ll get in plenty of practice.

What tips do you have for showing vs. telling? Leave them down in the comments below.

Please leave them in the comments down below. The more help I have with this, the better Hannah and other future stories will turn out.

Well, that’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. I’ll keep you updated on Hannah and any of my other projects. Until next time, good night and pleasant nightmares.

Hi Followers of Fear! I’m writing from lovely, enchanting Las Vegas! Actually, it’s more elaborate, gaudily opulent and sensory overload-inducing Las Vegas. It’s both, really. And extremely expensive. Whatever, I’m going to enjoy myself here! But first, I have an exciting announcement. One worth getting on the blog and writing up a blog post early for!

As many of you are aware, I’ve been working on getting another collection of original short stories out. I even did a ton of editing over the summer to make it happen. Well, I’m happy to say, all that work paid off! Yesterday at 3:15 PM in St. Louis, I signed a contract with BSC Publishing Group to publish a new collection of short stories, “Hannah and Other Stories.” So, without further ado, here’s a temporary cover that I created until we get something a bit more professional.

Not bad, right? This is actually a hint as to the subject matter of the titular short story. No, not toilet humor or toilet horror, I put all that into The Pure World Comes. In fact, the short story Hannah was inspired by a famous legend from Japan. If you can guess what it is without Google, congratulations! We can be friends.

Also, the titular character in the titular short story is not named after any of the people named Hannah I know. And believe me, there are a few. It’s a popular name in the Jewish religion.

You hear that, Hannah P. whom I went to high school with and sometimes saw at Ohio State? This has nothing to do with you! Though I may send you a copy when it’s out as a cheeky present.

Anyway, where was I? Oh right. Well, in addition to “Hannah,” there are six other stories in the collection: “Queen Alice,” about a mythical Internet boogeyman. Or boogeywoman, to be precise; “The Autopsy Kid and Doctor Sarah,” about a budding serial killer; “Fuselli’s Horses,” about a rather interesting breed of horse; “The Red Bursts,” about a town whose residents become reluctant witnesses to something terrifying; “What Errour Awoke,” about how one innocent reading during an English literature course leads to a terrifying situation during the COVID-19 pandemic (already putting it into my fiction, don’t you know); and “Poor, Unfortunate Souls,” about a party underneath the streets of Paris which takes a turn for the awful.

I look forward to hearing what you all think of the stories. There’s likely going to be a lot of editing over the next year or so, but I have confidence we could see this book out some time in 2022. What this means for the paperback/ebook release of The Pure World Comes, or writing my mummy story Crawler, I can’t say at this point. But all I can say is, I think the next 365 days will be quite eventful.

My view from my hotel in Las Vegas. I can’t wait to have fun in this city.

And in the meantime, if you’re looking for good stories to read, I have plenty available now while you wait. I hope you’ll check them out while I work on Hannah and releasing The Pure World Comes in paperback and ebook. Not only will find them entertaining and possibly terrifying, but it’ll help me out while I’m writing and editing. Also, if you do end up reading one of my stories, let me know what you think. Email me, or leave a review online somewhere. It’ll let me know what you think and help other readers decide whether or not to check out my work. I’ll leavve the links below.

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. I’ve got to film a YouTube video and then grab dinner before having a proper celebration in my hotel room tonight. Until next time, good night, pleasant nightmares, and prepare for Halloween in three days! If you don’t, I will obliterate you from the face of the Earth! Mwa ha ha ha!!!

The Pure World Comes: Readict app (free with ads)

The Quiet Game: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooksSmashwords, and Kobo.

Rose: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Audible

Snake: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Barnes & Noble, iBooksSmashwords, and Kobo

Agoraphobia: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada

Mother of the King: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada