September 27th, 2009

Monsters from the id...

Today I'm writing something a little unusual for me: A fairly traditional monster story.

That might not sound unusual to most people, since I think there's a popular perception that horror almost invariably involves either monsters or deranged chainsaw-wielding psychjobs...but I've actually written very few true monster stories. A couple of vampire pieces, maybe. Of course some zombie stories. But I'm usually interested in exploring a character's inner fears, as revealed through phobias or neurotic behavior; even "Tested" - which could be read as a monster story, I suppose - was, to me, really a story about a man's deeply rooted fear that, should his courage ever be tested, he would fail.

Well, today I say - heck with all that artsy psychology! We're goin' for the monster! This is actually a market I discovered at KillerCon, and decided to try a submission for.

And, somewhat to my surprise...I'm having a great time with the story, which is turning out to be the most fun I've had writing something this year, I think. Of course it's not completely traditional - I'm plopping my monster down in the middle of a modern, wealthy Southern California suburb, not some isolated and eldritch New England village - but I've got enough of the tropes (the group of potential victims, the nighttime excursion, the spooky building, the creature's mythology) that it's clearly identifiable.

Not sure I'm ready to write an entire monster novel yet, but I'm certainly not ruling it out!