I’ve had a terrible record with National Novel Writing Month for the last four years. My first book fell by the side of the road due to work in 2012. Honestly, I don’t think I knew where I was going with it any way. I’d gotten some interesting character stuff going, but I couldn’t write a convincing space battle to save my life.

My second attempt in 2013 ended after the first day as my father started to grow ill. That illness would culminate in four months of hospitalization and wouldn’t really end until his death in September of last year. With that still hanging over my head I decided that 2014 was NOT the year to try and take a stab at writing again.

This year I feel different. I want to write. I want to do something that doesn’t involve me drawing and coloring for three hours afterward. Plus, I had an idea. Several years ago I came up with a short film. It was a horror/comedy about a guy who moves onto his boat after being thrown out of the house by his girlfriend and eventually running into the Lovecraft Mythos. Do I think it’ll work as a book? Yeah. Yeah I do. I think this will work because I’m going to approach it as a comedy first and a horror story second. I think it’s going to work because I don’t have to get actors and money and make up. Lastly, I think it’ll work because I said so.

Maybe that last sentence sounds cocky. It’s supposed to. If I approach this with a mindset of “maybe I can finish and maybe it’ll be good” then I’ll never get anywhere. So get ready for a Lovecraftian story filtered through Douglas Adams.

Not All That is Edritch is Evil

Something I’ve come across a lot in the so-called “Cthulhu Mythos” is the tendency to make every single thing in it evil and bent toward human destruction when nothing could be farther from the truth. Being a GM of Call of Cthulhu I have tried my best to change that to some degree. Not always and not too much, but some.

Let’s look at the Elder Things, or the Old Ones if you’re a purest. While they did kill the entire party of explorers, the didn’t do it out of malice or hate. Lovecraft himself said it in the story. They woke up confused, alone, and in a now frozen environment. They had no food, no clothing and were surrounded by hairless apes shouting gibberish and hairy quadrupeds barking and trying to attack them. What they did was no different than what the british did in extreme situations out in the wilds in the days of exploration. They were frightened and trying to get home. And on top of that, they were scientists. As the narrator, William Dyer said, “THEY WERE MEN!”

Then there’s the Great Race of Yith. Are they guilty of kidnapping? Yes. Did they ever miss treat the people they held in the past as mental “guests? No. They gave them a degree of freedom during the time they were with them in Pnakotis. They only wanted to learn. Honestly, who wouldn’t do the same if they had the chance to experience ancient Egypt or before? Who wouldn’t want to know the truth of human origins? Did they ever do anything particularly evil while in mankind’s era? Nope. Just research.

I always try to play the Yith and the Elder Things as alien races that, given the right circumstances, would have at least co-existed on some level with humanity if given the chance.
Not the Mi-Go though. Screw those guys and their brain canisters. . .

The Writing Bug

As I’ve said before here in Bloggity, I don’t really write much, but when I do get the drive to I need to act on it immediately. That being said, the bug bit this morning.

I’ve had all these ideas floating around in my head for a modern weird fiction story. The problem I’ve run into over the years is that I’ve tried to hard to use Lovecraft’s verbiage. The trick is to capture the feeling but with your own words and I think I’m finally doing that.
I’m also having to modify his story structure into something more impacting. I’m still using the basic ideo of hinting that something horrible happened and that horrible things have continued to happen, but there’s much more of a personal tragedy element in this.

The story borrows from several of Lovecraft’s ideas without using any of his established mythos. There are elements of Rats in the Walls and a little bit of Long’s The Hounds of Tindalos, but nothing really specific from either. Just sort of a general feeling or vibe but with a much more personal journey.

Far too often when I try to write these things the genre and “monster” take over. I lose site of the characters, which is usually my strong point. I’m not making that mistake this time. Anyway, back to work for me!