The question I have for myself now is where to go from there?
I have some ideas for longer work, notes as well as some longer things I’ve written that I could take time going through and making presentable, I also have a couple of novella’s that are already written as well as one half written I could complete.
But I was thinking about the voice and style of Encounter at Carlin Cove: and Other Stories and Family: and Other Horrors, I was thinking perhaps I could try a collection specifically written for release as a book of short stories.
A bit of explanation is probably in order here. All the stories I have released so far have been pre-written, they have been stories that I have been writing for the entertainment of the people with whom I work so I have done little extra to present them as books.
The upside of this is that I have plenty of those to release, the downside is that they are of a particular style that is defined – at least in part – by the rules governing the internal communications of my place of work.
I mean, I can’t present stories containing extreme violence on the works internet, I’d get myself fired, so this constrains my voice and style somewhat.
In many ways this is not a bad thing, it forces a person to try to innovate within their story to make it interesting, as well as makes the voice being used more internal and thoughtful (hopefully at least).
However, in one way it’s very bad, especially for horror because – of course – this limits the old sex-and-violence that is a staple of the genre.
So I was thinking that before I move on to working on novellas or full length novels I should do at least one collection of stories that are unrestrained by these limitations, something that could – perhaps – sit next to some of the more hard-edged authors I have discovered since I started thinking about self-publishing some of my work.
To me this seems like the next step, a test in some ways to see if away from restraint and self-censorship I could produce something with what I have learned in the last few years and present something that might be complimentary to the more hard-edged horror that is currently popular.
Yes, in a way this will be an attempt to be commercial, but it will also be something more true to the writer I think I want to be, emulating the kinds of writers I admire more closely and – hopefully – being closer to the writer I am capable of being.
The challenge now is to balance this with the writing I do for my workplace because in no way do I want to abandon that audience to chase another, after all it was their kindness that made me think that this was a possibility in the first place.
It’s surprising to me how far down this road I have travelled in the last two years and how much further I think I have to travel just to find where my destination is, much less actually getting there. I’ve done a lot of things and made a lot of decisions that I would not have even considered back in 2018 and this is thanks to some of the very kind people who have approached me at work, and sometimes in person, to express themselves regarding the stories I write.
Sometimes this has been a nice experience filled with compliments and good comparisons, at other times it’s been more disheartening with criticisms and complaints; but every time it’s been useful and constructive.
posted by Alan Preece
on October, 28