Build The Foundation For The Haunted Houses

Shameless plug: Buy The Reformatory by Tananarive Due. You’re welcome.

If you have been following this space for some time, you know that my first love is horror writing. Now, do I consider myself solely a horror writer? No. I don’t. However, you all know that a writer girlfriend of mine is Tonia Ransom, and never fail to remind you all to follow her podcast.

Which you should. Right now. Click here.

With that said, I got the chance to interview the incredible woman for the third season of The Writers’ Block (which you can find on Apple Podcasts, Google Play or Spotify). Look for this logo:

In that interview (date 8/13/2020), Tonia and I spoke at length about the skill and crafting of a good horror story. The thing which I thought was most amazing was she suggested those who want to go into horror writing to take a screenwriting class! She said a good scary story has a knowledge of tension, tone and setting.

I had never thought about that!

Even with the interview she did with Tananarive Due on her podcast (date 9/19), one of the thing Tananarive Due expressed how she had created an entire fictitious city for her books: Graceland, FL. In that city all types of magical, supernatural things happen to children (think about last week’s post about The Base, The Roux and The Legendary). What has dynamic about the interview with Tananarive Due and mine with Tonia is the idea of building a world with all the things you need in it. Having the freedom to give your characters what they need. Even with Tananarive Due’s story she submitted to Nightlight she mentions how the story took place in Graceland–the same place as The Reformatory.

A good horror story uses tension, tone and setting as its basis as its foundation. While we know not everything will scare everyone, there are some thing which are synonymous to the human experience which will and do!

Remember, that what you want to create, you are free to do so! You have all you need to build the story that you want. You do this by using all the tools at your disposal. And I do mean all of them! Don’t be afraid that it’s not perfect! This is the purpose of having and making drafts! The goal is to get what it off your head into a medium by which you can read it!

Fear the words and worlds you don’t create…not the ones you do.

Get to it.

Encouragement Pages-09/16/2020-Begging For Support

Writing, deciding to pursue a career as a writer, can be quite lonely. It can be fraught with obstacles and people, but the saddest thing that can happen is the lack of support.

There will be people on this journey that will speak like into you, and remind you of the amazing artist that you are. There will also be people who will think you are insane for writing–for becoming a writer!

And the most comforting thing a writer will want is the assurance that someone is in our corner to support. Yet, I want you to remember one thing:

Be comfortable with the silence.

Be comfortable with the silence of the people that should shout for you.

Be comfortable with the whispers and texts of people whom would never support you in public.

Be comfortable with the fact (not the idea!) the fact that there are people who think you are wasting you time.

Take all of this into consideration, and do it anyway.

I believe in you. No you go and do likewise.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Introduction-Creating The Flow

In the book, On Writing, Stephen King talks about the power of muses. He talks about the need to have a space set up to write. The beautiful thing about having a dedicated space to write–the muses will always show up! You have a dedicated space to dream, to create and to do so unencumbered. This type of dedicated space is essential to creating The Flow!

1.) Make the space inviting for you! Whether this be a room with a view, a hotel room, or even desk in your room or your bed! This spot should be yours–totally obedient to what its you want and would like to do.

2.) Remind yourself that this space is just to write. Not sleeping. Not texting. Not eating. It is for writing. You will be amazed at what will happen once you have repurposed/purposed such a space.

3.) Write as if no one will watch you. This talent is yours to wield and to share. You must remember that your first fan, your first audience, your first member of your soon-to-be anxious public is you.

One of the essential things you must remember about creating such a space, is you as a writer are in charge of this space! You control it! You must control it! The Flow is not this cloud, full of rain, come to water your talent. Sometimes, you have to summon such rain. You must be ready to summon such rain when you need it!

So, summon the rain. Make that rain feed the streams of the visions you desire. Make the streams find the rivers of talent, and from there, make them flow to ocean of the world you desire to create. You can do it. You must do it.

Create–make the muses work.

Encouragement Pages-08/31/2020

Let me tell you a secret.

You write better than what you think you do. You can write longer than what you think you can. How do I know this? People do what they deem important.

If writing is important, you will write. Nothing will stop you.

If writing is not important, you will not write. Nothing could compel you.

Yes, you will only get better at writing, by writing. It is that development of tenacity, that desire not to quit, which will build the confidence you need to keep writing.

Keep going. You (will) write better than what you think you do.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages-04/24/2020-The Power Of Can’t (3)

This topic for this week’s Encouragement Pages really spoke to me. Look for this to be an expounded on topic later on. -JBHarris

Make no mistake, you are human. Writing is a superpower, but you have to be able to rest as well (the rest after a full day of writing is a gift, let me tell you!). What I want you to remember is it is not the time you wrestle against, it is the hindrances to your own imagination.

If you have a day where you cannot write because you are physically tired, or due to the demands of the day, that is fine. By all means, rest!

What I am saying is when you are attempting to write about a specific topic or in a specific genre, and feel that you don’t have the ability to–this is what I want you to examine, dear one.

You do that by asking these three questions:

1.) What am I scared to say?

2.) What makes it scary to say?

3.) What is stopping me from saying what I believe needs to be said?

If you can answer these, they become the key to unlocking the can’t. Take this key, unlock your imagination, and write.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages-03/27/2020

Come close.

Let me tell you something.

The words will never just appear out of the ether. You have to chase them. You may have to fight for them. You may even have to chase their shadows from dreams you have. But be relentless, dear Oracles.

The words are there–but you may have to reach a little longer or further to get them.

But–go get them!

Love & Ink,

JBHarris