Posts Tagged ‘werewolf’

As promised last week, I’m pleased to announce that What Happened Saturday Night has been published on Wattpad. I’ve been working on this story, on and off, since my final year of college, so I’m really glad to finally have it out there for you guys to read. Plus, check out this amazing artwork by friend, author, and ardent Follower of Fear Joleene Naylor (if you haven’t checked her out, why haven’t you yet? What’s wrong with you? CLICK HERE ALREADY!!!)! It gets right to what this story represents. And what does this story represent? Read the description:

High school is hard enough. But Louise is different from other teens her age. For one thing, she has feelings for her best friend Nicola. Feelings she knows she shouldn’t be having.

Another thing: she’s going through changes, but these aren’t the sort of changes teen girls normally go through. Louise is a werewolf. And her biggest fear is what might happen if an episode like what happened on Saturday night happens in front of Nicola.

I’ve been told it’s a touching story about coming to terms with yourself, in more ways than one.

Based on the results of Gynoid (which, if you haven’t read yet, here’s Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3), I’m hoping that even more people will respond to What Happened Saturday Night (or WHSN, as I’m going to call it from now on). I’ve put the same amount of work into both stories, so hopefully all that will pay off like it did with the former story. And they contain similar themes and elements, so that will probably help.

I also think people will be drawn to it because it’s a coming out story. As an out of the closet bisexual man, I know how scary that is. I know what it’s like to feel weird in your own body because of the way you feel, because of whom you’re attracted to. I think there should be more stories that not only explore that issue, but help normalize it to some degree. What I mean is, coming out should not be scary. It might be my delusions of grandeur, but if WHSN can help do that for some readers, then I’ll be glad that I published it.

If you would like to check out WHSN, follow this link for a read. And if you like it (or don’t), let me know what you think. Positive or negative, I love reader feedback, and it helps me in the log run to make me a better writer.

Until next time, my Followers of Fear!

At the beginning of the year, I said I was going to try publishing more of my shorter works in as many places as possible. This included Wattpad, which for those of you who don’t know is kind of like the YouTube for writers: anyone can upload and share stories. I fulfilled this promise somewhat earlier this year by publishing Gynoid, a science-fiction novelette I’d been trying to publish on and off for quite some time. I published that story’s first part on February 14th, Valentine’s Day, and if you are good at math, you can tell that it’s been six months since the story was first published. With that in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to go over how Gynoid was doing and what plans I have for the site in the future.

Update on Gynoid

When Toby Crimson orders¬†a gynoid, a robot designed to look and act like a human girl, he knows he shouldn’t be doing it in the first place. Gynoids are for perverts and losers, after all. But Toby has told a lie, and he needs the gynoid, named Ariel, to keep that lie up. What he never expects is to actually like Ariel being around. Or that Ariel is going to change his life. Whether he likes it or not.

I published the first part of Gynoid on February 14th, Valentine’s Day, for a very good reason. The story is a romance in a science-fiction setting, but it’s also a kind of anti-romance story. There are dark sides to stories about forbidden love that I don’t always see portrayed in fiction, so I used Gynoid to explore those dark sides a little, in particular to the idea of male fantasies.

And so far, people have responded. In those six months since publication, the number of people reading Gynoid have gradually increased to 132 reads. It’s still not a huge number, but it’s a good-sized number for someone who’s still building an audience and who publishes sporadically on Wattpad to begin with. And there has also been a few votes, which is the equivalent of likes on YouTube for this platform.

What really interests me though is the comments. I’ve received some comments on this work, and not only is just one of them from my mother (a whole new record!), but the other comments have been very telling. One commenter was very happy that the ending was, in their view at least, a good one. Another recent reader finished the third part of the story on or around August 3rd, username LadieFace, published that she hoped there would be more to the story (I assume based on the name it’s a she). A week later on August 10th, she comes back and comments that she hopes there’ll be a sequel.

Now, I do have ideas for a sequel, and I did tell her as much when I saw the comment, but that’s not the point. This story stayed on this person’s mind so much that she felt the need to come back a week after her first comment and ask if I had more. When a story makes someone do that, you know it really resonated with that reader.

This gives me hope that, in time, Gynoid will continue to be read and people will come to enjoy it. Maybe they’ll even come to like it to the point that it’ll push me to write a sequel story. Anything’s possible.

If you’re curious to read Gynoid, I’ll include the links below. And if you do check it out, please tell me, here on the blog or on Wattpad, what you think. As I always say, I love reader feedback.

Gynoid: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

What Happened Saturday Night is getting published!

What Happened Saturday Night is another story I’ve been trying to get published for quite some time, and now I’m happy to say I’ll be publishing it on Wattpad next week. Like Gynoid, this story has a heavy romantic element, but this time it’s more of a paranormal romance rather than a science-romance. Here’s the blurb I’m using on Wattpad:

High school is hard enough. But Louise is different from other teens her age. For one thing, she has feelings for her best friend Nicola. Feelings she knows she shouldn’t be having.

Another thing: she’s going through changes, but these aren’t the sort of changes teen girls normally go through. Louise is a werewolf. And her biggest fear is what might happen if an episode like what happened on Saturday night happens in front of Nicola.

So as you can tell, the story has a big LGBT element along with the paranormal one. These two genres actually work pretty well together, actually: they both deal with things that are outside the norm, at least to some people, so putting them together is kind of a natural fit.

I’ll probably be publishing this story either on Monday or on Tuesday next week, so keep an eye out for the announcement post. In the meantime, I’d like to thank friend and fellow novelist Joleene Naylor, who also did the cover art for Gynoid, ffor this beautiful artwork for the tory. It is so powerful and expresses everything I want in a cover. I can’t wait for people to see it and want to read the story inside!

Will I publish anything else on Wattpad?

Good question. It depends on a number of factors. I’m still trying to get stories published in magazines and anthologies, as well as trying to put some in a collection of short stories I’m keeping on the back burner for the moment. Depending on the story, as well as whether I feel it ought to be in a collection, a publication, or on Wattpad, anything could happen. If I do publish anything, it’ll probably have less of a romance element than Gynoid or What Happened Saturday Night has.

So if you’ve been reading my stories on Wattpad simply for the elements of love and romance, I’m sorry to disappoint you on that front.


That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. I might have another post out later this week, but it’ll depend on time and motivation, among other things. Until then, happy reading, and pleasant nightmares.

Recently I was contacted by Man Crates, a new company that “ships awesome gifts for men in custom wooden crates that he has to open with a crowbar!” Don’t worry, I think they send the crowbar with the crate. Anyway, they asked me to come up with what I would include in a crate to survive the duration of horror movie, especially since it’s October and this is the month for that sort of stuff. I was intrigued, so I decided to take up the challenge and see what I could come up with.

Turns out that list is actually pretty exhaustive. The thing about horror films, what you need to survive them besides wits and luck really depends a lot on what you’re facing. You can’t use a weapon for a werewolf on a ghost, and an exorcism for¬†a demon won’t do much good on a serial killer. If I tried to prepare for every possible situation, I would need an entire house to stalk my supplies rather than just a crate.

So I made my list with this thought: “If I knew I was going to be in a horror movie but I didn’t know what I’d be facing or where I’d be when it happened or how long I’d be in this situation, and I could pick items to bring with me to help me survive, what would I bring?” Thus resulted my list, an entire¬†catalog of supplies that would apply in just about any horror situation without being too specific.

I’m not sure if Man Crates were to actually compile everything from my list if they could fit it all into one crate, but I think they’d find it very helpful no matter what the situation is. So without further ado, here’s what I would want in my crate for surviving a horror movie:

Machetes: as deadly as a gun, as silent as a knife.

  • Weapons.¬†Obviously, I¬†need weapons. Chances are, most of what I’d likely face would be susceptible to some sort of weapon, and I can think of a few that would be helpful. First, a shotgun. Werewolves, zombies, serial killers, and occasionally vampires and some kinds of ghosts can be killed or injured by firearms, and if I needed to hunt for survival, a shotgun would be helpful. I also would like an ample supply of three types of bullets: regular, silver, and rock salt. The first two are obvious, they can kill most creatures, human, supernatural, or other. The rock salt is special, though: according to many traditions, salt can cleanse or keep away impure beings like ghosts and spirits. I figure a rock salt bullet might weaken a spirit if I’m attacked, and if I’m not facing a spirit, then rock salt might hurt or drive away anything else.
    I also would benefit from a machete and a hunting knife. If the shotgun fails, then a machete and a hunting knife would be helpful in close quarters combat or against a horde of zombies. They can also be used in stealth attacks, unlike the shotgun, and the knife in particular would be helpful in hunting. Obviously I’d need something to make sure the blades stay sharp and clean, and something to keep the shotgun in working condition, so add those¬†to the crate.
  • Survival gear and supplies.¬†When I saw author Max Brooks (The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z) at Ohio State a couple years back, he pointed out that besides weapons, you need supplies if you’re going to survive any long-term terrors. While I’m trying to be more general here, I have to admit he has a very good point, and I should plan in case my survival needs happen to be longer than until the sun rises.
    A lot of what I would need are also things that I might consider taking with me on a camping trip. Flashlight and extra batteries would be the first things I’d pack. If I’m going to be fighting for my life at night, a light source will be important. Lighter fluid and matches would also be helpful. Even if I’m not in a situation where I need to assemble a cooking fire in the woods or something, some things can only be killed with fire, which means I need something to get the fire really going.

    Sometimes the simplest things will save you.

    And speaking of cooking fires, put some water bottles and energy bars into the crate. Keeping yourself hydrated and energized is important if you want to stay alive, so better have something that is easy to transport, lasts awhile, and can carry your nutrition needs. A first aid kit with the works–gauze, disinfectant, antibiotics, needle and thread, etc.–could also mean the difference between life and death, so I’d want one of those.
    Finally in this category, I think we could include an outdoor survival guide–I am not the most outdoorsy sort of guy, so having a guide would be very helpful–as well as a portable cell phone charger to call for help if things get too crazy and maybe a satellite uplink device in case I’m in an area with poor or no cell reception. Hey, you have to be prepared for as many situations as possible.

  • Other.¬†These don’t fit into the other two categories, and I can’t think of a proper name for them, but they would be handy in a horror movie. First, night vision goggles: good ones are usually a little expensive, but if the situation becomes such that you wouldn’t want a flashlight because then someone or something might see the beam, then it’s worth it. Also, bring along The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks. Even if you’re not facing a zombie apocalypse, it has some very good tips to survive out in the world when the stuff hits the fan, so it might prove useful. And a thick notebook and a supply of pens would also be pretty handy, especially if you need to be on the road for a long time or you’re facing something unseen before in human mythology or history and you want to record its weaknesses.

    Get me something slightly smaller and less clunky and cumbersome, and I think I’ll be good.

    Finally, a pack or something to make carrying this all easier would be nice. I mean, this amount of gear might be heavier than the suitcase in my hotel room, I would like something to help make carrying it all a little easier.

That wraps up my list of things I would have in my crate should I find myself in a horror movie and I’d like to survive till the end, especially if the end is several months or even years away…ooh, I hope I don’t end up in any of those movies! Anyway, thanks to Man Crates for inspiring the post. I had a fun time coming up with this list. Check out their catalog, you might find the perfect gift for a guy you know to indulge in his masculine side.

And beware of monsters! They’re everywhere this month.

What would you want in your horror survival kit? Anything here that I missed?

As I mentioned in my last post, I was taking a break from Rose to write, edit, and rewrite some short stories. I started by doing the fourth draft of What Happened Saturday Night, which has gone through quite a number of changes since its first draft. I have to say, this might be the best draft I’ve done so far. It took it a long time to get to where it is now, but I think my classmates would have enjoyed this draft much more than some of the other drafts I’ve turned in this semester. That’s the hope, at least.

In any case, I managed to keep this story about a young girl becoming a werewolf at the same time she discovers her sexuality on the two main characters and on their interpersonal struggles. I also got to explore the sensation of being a wild beast on the hunt, and I think I got the ending just right. I may do some more edits on it before I send it off to someone to critique or to a magazine (haven’t decided which I should do first yet), ¬†especially with a small part of the climax, but I’m hoping that this might be the last time I have to do serious editing to the story.

I hope to submit this one to an LGBT literature magazine, of which there are apparently many, and some of the ones I looked at¬†seem¬†to specialize in a wide range of genres and formats. Maybe an editor from one of them will take a look at What Happened Saturday Night and think it’s the perfect match for their magazine. We can only hope, right?

Well, I’m going to do some reading as research for the rewrite of The Murderer’s Legacy, which I’m thinking of renaming to fit with the new direction I want the story to go in. We’ll see what happens. In the meantime, have a Happy New Year, my Followers of Fear and stay safe out there. Don’t party too hard. That’s my job!

I’m not sure how I did it. I’m not sure I care to know how I did it. I just know that I finished the third draft of “What Happened Saturday Night”, formerly known as “Frauwolf”. And boy, what a writing marathon that was! I just didn’t stop writing.

After hearing the criticisms of my classmates, I went through the story, adjusting the first half or so (the half they really liked) and then completely rewrote everything past page 7 or so (the half they disliked). Throughout the editing and rewriting I tried to keep in mind that, even though this was a werewolf story, it was also a story about two people who really care about each other. A story about human interaction, in other words. And isn’t that all literature? It’s about how humans interact with each other and/or their environment. Even in ghost stories, it’s about human interaction, about confronting our fear of mortality and the afterlife.

I’d do well to remember that for future stories, and not try to create an amazing, complicated universe before working on the human aspect. Perhaps now that I’ve written it down I will.

Anyway, I also played around with some of the already apparent symbolism in the story–using a werewolf as a metaphor for awakening to sexuality, I wonder how many others have used that one? Probably a few–as well as switching the story to present tense. I actually had originally planned to do the second draft in present tense, seeing as Rose is written that way as well, but at some point I slipped back into my standard past tense. Well, it’s closer to what I’d planned, and the ending works better now than it did in the second draft, so I’m hoping my teacher approves.

And speaking of endings, when I was typing out the last words of the story, my iTunes started playing “Va,¬†pensiero”, an Italian opera piece as sung by Russell Watson. It’s such a beautiful piece, and it seemed to fit the ending of the story so well. ¬†I think that’s a good sign for this draft.

Anyway, I sent it off to my teacher. She’ll review it and let me know what she thinks. Hopefully I’ll get some good feedback on this story. Because of the LGBT themes, I figure I could send it to a magazine that specializes in that sort of literature. I’ve already found a few that might be good fits. Fingers crossed that they like what I send them.

Well, I’m tired, it’s very late, and I’ve got more work to do tomorrow (still got a thesis to get through, after all). I’ll see you guys in the morning. ¬†Goodnight my Followers of Fear. Don’t let the werewolves bite.

You may also know this story by its original title, Frauwolf. It’s still the same story as well, about a girl who’s a werewolf and who is in a relationship with another girl. And its second draft got critiqued in my creative writing class.

Luckily this time I won’t have to rewrite the whole damn story again, or I might seriously turn into a werewolf myself¬†and go on a rampage ¬†(boy, wouldn’t that¬†make for an interesting horror¬†movie). My classmates found this draft much easier to read and felt that the first half was awesome, that the language was superb and that the emotions between the two main characters felt real. Most of all they were glad I’d changed the story from a crazy fast-paced psycho-drama that left little time to linger on the actual story and made it more about the characters themselves.

The thing they didn’t like is that near the end of the story I add a new character, who happens to be a psychopath, and it just takes the story in a bad direction. Well, in my defense I had only so many days to finish the new draft and I was pressed for time, so when I got stuck I went with what first came to mind.

In any case, I only have about half a short story to rewrite rather than a full short story, and I have to turn in a third draft by next Wednesday. God help me, because I have an eight-page Shakespeare paper due the day before and I still have three and a half pages left. Plus I’m still figuring out where to go with this short story of mine. Boy, is my life crazy!

Well, I’m going to turn in. I’ve had a long day, I’m exhausted, and I need my rest if I’m going to tackle either of these tomorrow. Wish me luck Followers of Fear, because I have a feeling I’m going to need all the luck I can get. Goodnight, everybody.

Boy, has this short story been something of a saga for me. For this second draft, not only did I have to go back twice¬†to redo it because I didn’t like where it was going, but I also changed the name of the short story about…six times? I settled with “What Happened Saturday Night” after a while as the new title. So maybe this post should be called “What Happened Saturday Night: Finished”.

Anywho, for those who don’t know, for my creative writing class I have to turn in two original short stories and a revised short story for the class to critique. Having previously done a short story about fallen angels and one about a woman who turns into a wolf, I decided to do a revision of the latter story. And just like the first draft, where I went back several times because the plot was going nowhere fast, I had to go back several times on this one. The first time was because I realized the story’s ending would resemble that of a previous story, and I didn’t want to be repeating myself. The second time I added in a cult element, but then things got really complicated and I decided I didn’t need that.

So for this third round, I decided to simplify things, go in a new direction I hadn’t thought of before, and see what I got. I also turned off the Internet so I wouldn’t get distracted (it worked). And finally, four days before it was due, I finished the new draft of “Frauwolf”, which is now called “What Happened Saturday Night”, and I incorporated a lot of the suggestions I got from my peers. So now it’s done, with a little over five-thousand words. A little wordy should I try to get it published, but I’m sure after my next critique in two weeks I’ll get some great suggestions on how to improve it and maybe trim it down if necessary. It still incorporates the main elements though: a girl who turns into a werewolf, and her relationship with her lover, also a woman. Can’t argue about that.

For now though, I’m tired and I want to go to bed. I’ve got a big week starting tomorrow, including midterms on Tuesday and Wednesday, so I’d rather be well-rested for those.

I’ll try and blog later this week, my Followers of Fear. Until then, a terrifying sleep, and a good week to you all.

Today in my creative writing class it was my turn to get critiqued. And as you may recall, my short story was about a woman who turned into a werewolf. Or as she preferred because of her gender, frauwolf, which became the title of the story.Unlike other stories, I thought this first draft was a piece of crap. And it was, too. But it was the only draft I could finish, so it was the draft I ended up sticking with. And last week I bought sugar cookies to bribe my classmates with, so that when they tore my story into little pieces they would be nice about it.

Well, the bribe didn’t work. Apparently cookies that are about 90% sugar don’t work on college students, because ¬†only half of them got eaten, and mostly by the students with sweet tooths. But they were nice while they tore my story apart, I’ll give them that.

Anyway, the biggest problems with “Frauwolf” seem to be that I throw way too much in and that the readers felt yanked along by all that was happening. Well, that’s not surprising, considering it’s me writing this story. I like to write novels, especially long, expansive novels that may in fact involve into series. So I tried to add a huge amount of stuff into 5,000 words and the result was a story that was rushed along so as to get to everything happening in the story. The result is an overly-complicated and insane story that deviates from what I originally intended (as you read two posts ago, that was the problem I had with Rose).

My classmates also had some trouble with the relationship portrayed in the story. They couldn’t get why my main character’s girlfriend still stuck around with her, among other things. Well, I guess that makes sense. I don’t delve that deep into the foundation of the relationship. For the next draft, I think I will do that thoug.

And speaking of next draft, I’ve got one more story to turn in this semester, and it has to be a revision of a previous story. I’m thinking I’ll work on this one, maybe change the setting and the story line and see what comes of it. Besides, I’m not nearly satisfied with this story as I should be, so I’ll put off editing my other short story, “Evil Began in a Bar”, until another time. Besides, my critique gave me some great ideas of where to go with this story, so I really want to see what I can do with them. I might even write something worth publishing.

I’ll let you know what comes of all this editing, and what my classmates say at my final critique. In the meantime, I’ve got to get dinner ready before my evening class, so that’s all for now. Have a great day, my Followers of Fear.

My brain at work.

It’s been not even one full week into the new semester and there have been some interesting developments in the classes I’m taking. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m taking a creative writing course this semester. The course requires us to turn in two short stories and a revision of one of them at different points throughout the semester, though not necessarily in that order (I wanted to turn in a revision and two original short stories, but I don’t have anything to revise at the moment, so forget that). And as I’ve also mentioned in previous posts, Ohio State’s English and Creative Writing departments tend to focus on classic and literary fiction. Genre fiction doesn’t often get as much discussion in Denney Hall.

I came into class with the idea that we were going to be writing several literary short stories during the semester, and even had a list of ideas for stories I could write. Imagine my surprise when my teacher announced that we could turn in genre fiction, so long as it was interesting. Yes, she said that. As long as it’s interesting and doesn’t hold to time-honored (0r time-worn) conventions, I could turn in something from genre fiction. The following conversation then ensued:

Me: So I could write a terrifying horror story, and as long as it is interesting and doesn’t hold to conventions, I can turn it in?

My Professor: Of course.

Me: Party time.

You can probably tell I’m excited. I love writing horror stories, and with the focus on finishing the first draft of Laura Horn and editing Video Rage taking up most of my time this summer, there hasn’t been all that much time to seriously focus on writing a decent scary story or two. However, there’s been plenty of time to accumulate ideas for short stories, so at the next available opportunity, I plugged in my flash drive and started looking over the Word document that contains all my ideas for short stories.

So much to work with, so little time.

What a list that was, with 294 entries at last count. Yeah, I know. And no time to seriously work on them. One of these days I’m going to have to set aside a period of time where I won’t work on any novels and I’ll just work on reducing the amount of ideas on that list, maybe put out a couple more collections of short stories.

But the other night when I went over the list, remembering ideas I hadn’t thought of in a while (good thing I keep a list!) and trying to remember what I was thinking of when I wrote down the idea I had for certain stories, I was looking for particular stories. They had to be the right length (under 10,000 words), they had to be one of the more interesting ideas I’ve had (I like to think they’re all interesting, but I tried seeing it from the POV of someone who’s not me) and I had to look for a story that wouldn’t be tied down to the conventions of horror.

And as many of the horror fans know, that last one can be tough. As the Scream movies, Cabin in the Woods, and Behind the Mask so wonderfully point out, horror stories often work within a certain narrative framework. This gives the writers who create these stories more freedom than you’d think as we struggle to please our fans who are looking for a certain product in their story, but there has been criticism (some of it well-founded) that horror stories can get a little too predictable, to the point where you get useful advice videos like this:

He does bring up some good points. Actually, a slightly paranoid fear of a horror movie death is¬†why I’ve never smoke weed, drink sparingly, and I’m not violent outside of the books I write (I’m not commenting on the sex and abstinence part). I don’t want to die like that.¬†That would suck! Especially if somehow my soul gets trapped in the place where I was murdered or is digested by whatever killed me or something. That would suck even more!

So in the end, I managed to pick out about eight or ten short stories that I thought fit the bill for what I was looking for, and I selected two out of them. Neither of these stories have any particular reason as to why I chose them. I just thought they were very unique and that they would be choices my teacher and classmates wouldn’t find boring or stereotypical. In fact, I’m hoping to keep them on the edge of their seats with suspense.

And as for what those short stories are, I’ll give you some hints. This is the hint for the short story I’ll probably start work on sometime next week:

And here’s the hint for the one I’ll probably start in late September, early October:

Anyone want to hazard a guess at subject matter and plot line? There are wrong answers, but no consequences if you guess wrong.

Well, that’s all for now. I have some homework to do if I want to get any form of creative writing done, so I’m off to do that. Wish me luck, and have a good weekend, my Followers of Fear. I’ll let you know the progress of each of these short stories as there is news to report and maybe even let you know what my classmates think. Hopefully they will be terribly scared.