Merry meet all,
As many of you know or are new to this, I love the paranormal. It is my top fave thing in the world next to fresh hot coffee, cats and guinea pigs, and sitting by a window in a restaurant. The idea of ghosts as a possible reality is fascinating to me. Death is an unexplored frontier. It is hard to say what happens to us after we die.
That may be why some of us write- to know or to explore possibilities of what happens to us after we die. We see it in fiction and movies. We will never know what truly happens till we cross the veil of death to the Other side. This excludes near death experiences and out of body experiences.
There are many tales and mythologies as a way of explaining death. The famous tale of Persephone who rules over the dead in Hades’s Underworld, Hecate- Queen of All Witches, the falling of the grains in the field, the Crone’s dark blue cloak of winter that isn’t shed till spring’s arrival.
Don’t forget that there is life as well. There can never be one without the other. It is a fact of life. Now if you want to write about it in a story, here are some hopefully inspirational ideas to guide you.
What is your main idea? Don’t be afraid to let it take you a long time to discover what it is you want to write about. It took me two years. Sketch out your main characters. Figure out your main plot, setting and theme. Be flexible.
One enormous hurdle I overcame while writing my story and entering into the revision phase, was knowing how to edit a novel. It was an obstacle the size of Mt. Everest. I searched all over the internet for information. I read books on it. I photocopied articles from Writers Digest magazines and read the articles on the bus home. I applied then what I learned about editing to my ms. I found what worked and what didn’t. I still search for information on editing. It wasn’t handed to me, I had to learn the hard way. And I did.
One great thing I can recommend for anyone editing their own novel right now is this: Never mind that i won a contest for a free content edit. I think the other awesome prize was when I stumbled across a book. That book is the Manuscript Makeover: Revision Techniques No Fiction Writer Can Afford to Ignore by Elizabeth Lyon. Never attempt an edit without a copy of this book. I hated it at first and dreaded it even. Now I would never live without it. I will never edit without it.
Manuscript Makeover assumes you already have a draft of a ms. It is easier to go ahead and use the book on your ms. You won’t be sorry. It is superior to every other revision book out there on the market. It is the ultimate source of professional reliable information on novel editing. It won’t let you down. I wouldn’t use any other source now but that book. So don’t be intimidated by the thick volume or the way the material is presented. That is how much of a gem this book is. I have one problem with the ordering of the chapters but that is all. I love the book. Do the revisions after you have a draft of a ms.
So depending on whether you want to pen a thriller or a novel about zombie Nazi policemen and this is no limit on gender here, I want to talk about making your monster.
You could be inspired by anything. This is assuming that you are creating some type of monster for your tale. You have the power to create something. You have the power within you. It is where it all begins, in your imagination. I happened to come up with the idea of a seaweed ridden melancholic ghost for my novel. Your creation could be something different.
It will be unique to you. Don’t copy from movies or stories. Be original. Feel brave enough to come up with something that is uniquely you. It can slither across rooms, be tentacled and have twenty eyes or it can be a stealthy stone cold serial killer. You also need a protagonist, the hero of your story or maybe the monster is the dark unlikely and misunderstood antihero. When you try writing one of these stories, you will understand after a while that you have much freedom to create anything you want. Have fun with the process.
Whatever you do, whatever you create, stay true to your monster. Get to know him- and your hero and other characters. He is your creation and unique to you. Get to know the strengths and weaknesses. They add credibility. Keep track of the unique abilities of the monster/ vampire/ vampire slayer/ weredog. Read books like On Writing Horror by the Horror Writers Association and Writing the Paranormal Novel by Steven Harper. They are valuable sources of help with this kind of genre.