The Ins and Outs of Publishing, A Directory of Advice. #Writing #Author #Advice — James Harringtons Creative Work

Okay, so it looks like I’m still getting a lot of publishing questions. These are recurrent questions I get on a regular basis, and while I want to try to respond to everyone who reaches out to me, I don’t want my blog becoming redundant. So I think I’m going to repost this on a […]

The Ins and Outs of Publishing, A Directory of Advice. #Writing #Author #Advice — James Harringtons Creative Work

I’ve been enjoying Mr. Harrington’s posts for some time now, and I did get at least one of his books – just need to find time to read it now.

I’m sharing the above blog post on my Writing Wednesday because it’s about writing. If you like what he has to say please, let him know. We all appreciate feedback.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Genre: Horror

When writing first began, it was mostly poetry. Epic poetry like Beowulf and the like. It has evolved over the past millennia since man began to write things down for entertainment. Writing had been used for keeping records and such before someone decided to write down the very first poem just for the fun of it.

As writing advanced, the novel was eventually born. The first proper novel was a romance novel written by a man(go figure) and thus, the genre called Romance was born. This was shortly followed by its polar opposite, Horror. The first proper Horror novel was The Castle of Otranto written by Horace Walpole in 1765.

It was actually termed Gothic because it was based largely in the medieval period, but it was actually a merger of medievalism and terror. Since people in the Medieval period were so superstitious, there was a great deal to be said about fear and the supernatural. Walpole capitalized on this to create a novel that influenced later Horror writers such as Matthew Gregory Lewis(1796, The Monk) and Anne Radcliffe(1794, The Mysteries of Udolpho). Both of those writers would have profound impacts of the likes of Lord Byron and both Shelleys as well as much later writers.

The Horror genre used to be a single genre, but it has evolved along with writing and writers. It used to be a single genre with everything even remotely scary placed under its umbrella however, that’s changed. As writers found more and more ways to scare, and the movies came into being which further developed the genre, Horror sprouted sub-genres:

Gothic -the eldest of all and related to medievalism and the supernatural with death, undeath and love mixed into the equation

Examples: The Castle of Otranto and Frankenstein

Paranormal – related mainly to ghost stories and some supernatural elements

Examples: It and The Exorcist

Non-Supernatural – relates to things that scare us but not of the supernatural sort – stuff made from nightmares

Examples: Misery and The Silence of the Lambs

Body Horror – I found this one by doing some research, and it’s about the mutilation/disfigurement of the body. Think zombies and the like.

Examples: The Walking Dead and The Troop

Splatterpunk – relates to gore and violence, really disturbing stuff

Examples: Seeing Red and In the Miso Soup

Erotic aka Dark Erotica – this is where the vampire novels go

Examples: Danse Macabre and The Vampire Lestat

There may be some more I have yet to come across in my research, the world of horror is becoming pigeonholed as more and more labels are added. Give me a good scary story, and I won’t call it more than horror. 🙂

I actually call the book I’m writing, The Inbetween, a supernatural thriller simply because it’s really not scary. It has supernatural elements, but I’m not out to scare anyone. So you see, sub genres can sprout up at any time.

Hope you enjoyed this basic overview of the genre called Horror.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Samuel Richardson

This man is the unacclaimed father of the novel. He lived from 1689 to 1761 in England. His most famous work is Pamela, and he was part of the “Cult of Sensibility” whereas his work was full of emotion and theatrics of that nature.

Both Pamela(written in 1740) and his later work, Clarissa(written between 1747 and 1748), were written in letter form, and this is known as the “epistolary novel”

Pamela is often said to be the first English novel though the term is applied a bit loosely since other works in novel form had been produced before this work. It’s better to say Pamela made novels and novel reading very popular as it attracted many readers of all social strata and encouraged other writers to follow suit.

Richardson and the “Cult of Sensibility” certainly influenced writers such as Jane Austen who detested the way Richardson wrote and created her own bodies of work as a critique and spurning of Sensibility. She certainly didn’t want her readers to believe all women were hysterical and all men hypochondriacs as society viewed people who showed too much emotion.

Personally, I think emotional theatrics should depend on the type of character you’ve created. If they’re the emotional sort then, by all means, let the emotions pour out. It’s only natural and realistic they should faint, or wail at the smallest thing. If they’re stoic, then they should be stoic and endure whatever situation they’re in as much as humanly possible – as long as it’s realistic.

What do you think about Mr. Richardson and his “Cult of Sensibility”? Reading either Pamela or Clarissa will assist you in learning what I mean about Sensibility, but I’d say read Pamela since it’s the shorter of the two.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Points of View: What and When

Everyone who has taken an English class has heard of Points of View in Literature. There are so many articles out there written about POV, I don’t really feel the need to write yet another one. This said, I will do a quick overview to refresh your memory.

What is POV

Point of View(POV) is a literary device used mainly in fiction writing. It’s used to help draw the reader into the story. There are three main POVs:

  1. 1st Person – Narrator’s Perspective “I”
  2. 2nd Person – Your Perspective – “you”
  3. 3rd Person – Someone Else’s Perspective – “he/she”

The above is a very simplistic definition. In my humble opinion, the best definition and examples can be found at Lit Charts.

When Should They Be Used

Now that you know what the different POVs are, you can decide which one(s) to use when. It all depends on the story you’re writing and what impact you want it to have on your reader.

A great many famous authors have used 1st Person POV to great effect, some of these being

  1. Samuel Clemens(Mark Twain) – Huckleberry Finn
  2. Herman Melville – Moby Dick
  3. F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby

This POV allows the reader to follow a great deal of action from the role of an observer, but they won’t be able to tell what the actors in the story are feeling/thinking unless it’s through the use of dialogue. Still, this POV has proven to make the above stories memorable to the reader.

2nd Person POV allows the reader to become the main character through the use of “you” as well as writing as if you, the reader, are seeing/hearing etc. what is going on. Some of the famous authors who used this are:

  1. Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Haunted Mind
  2. William Faulkner – Absalom, Absalom!
  3. Leo Tolstoy – Sevastopol Sketches

To me, this perspective brings the action closer, you can experience the story on a more personal level, especially when you can see what the main character is thinking and feeling without the use of dialogue. Horror stories are scarier, to me, when written in this POV.

3rd Person POV is the one a lot of writers use, and the following famous writers wrote some truly memorable stories using this literary device:

  1. J.M. Barrie – Peter Pan
  2. William Golding – Lord of the Flies
  3. Louisa May Alcott – Little Women

Of course, there are times when two or more POVs are used, and they can enrich the experience of the story being read. Some authors who have used multiple POVs are:

  1. Stephanie Oakes – The Arsonist
  2. Marie Lu – The Young Elites
  3. Morgan Rhodes – Falling Kingdoms

If done right and with a great deal of focus, the use of multiple POVs can make your book a best seller or a flop.

It just takes a bit of thought to decide what POV(s) your story needs and then, you need to be consistent. Constantly changing POVs without clear direction to the reader can leave them confused and exhausted. This means your story won’t get finished, the reader may not even go beyond the first chapter! Even with multiple POVs, you must be clear what’s going on.

I hope this was an interesting read for you this week.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Some Changes to Wednesday

I usually do writing prompts on Wednesday, but I’ve decided to expand to include anything writing related. This means I’ll be discussing Tips, Tricks, and Shortcuts in writing as well as sharing articles and editorials about writing. I’ll propose writing exercises as well – what’s the point of learning something if you can’t practice it. Practice is a way of making something permanent, and writing is no different.

I’ll be back next week with something writing related I think you’ll like, and I hope you will discuss it with me.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!