Monday, September 30, 2013

My Writing

I've stepped away from the mystery genre for the past 18 months or so. Not entirely. I've started some short stories and two novels that I'll finish next year. Still, most of my energy has been put into more science-fictiony stuff.

TO THE LAST MAN is nearing completion. A couple of thousand more words to go and then a round of edits that will likely take a month or two. The couple of thousand words will not happen overnight. Probably not even this week. Maybe this weekend.

In the edits, I have a decision to make that can either require a giant overhaul (think 6 months) or not.

In the story, I have aliens invading Earth. They're not the happy kind. So, much of the story is about fighting the aliens once it becomes clear they haven't come in peace. Resources are wdindling, people are dying, the world's going to hell.

So anyway, I made a decision early on in the story writing - the aliens aren't particularly scary or gory. In fact, they're mainly machines. And like machines, they're relentless. That's the tension factor. They don't quit and there are millions of them to swarm you. But wouldn't it be better if each individual in the swarm was scary just by the looks of him/her/it?

That is, right now, if I told you we were going to be attacked by groundhogs, even millions of them, that would be terrible, but not particularly scary. But if it were millions of flying barricudas with patches of fur and little human faces growing out of their spines, you'd be freaked out, no? I mean, curious, too, but scared.

As my grandma used to say, "if a groundhog gets in your house, you chase it with a broom; but if a mangy flying barricuda with a human face growing out of its spine gets into your house..."

So should I rewrite for scariness?


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