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.


Introduction-What It All Means

Writing is a form of creation.

It takes passion and force and focus to create something. That passion is what fuels the vision of what you desire to do. The force is what gives you the strength to do all you desire.

Remember…the Flow is not just an nebulous thing! It is something that is equal parts power and privilege. With all that, combined with time, grants us focus.

That focus is what allows us as creators to truly create—to have nothing ahead of you or inside of you other than raw creative energy. This is what it means to tap into that power.

Herein is what it means to create The Flow.

The Flow is not a secret. It is not vapid nor is it something that is a rumor artists share or whisper about! It is not something that is accidental, but always fueled by intent—and intention.

Intention powers The Flow. Focus directs us to the best access to it. Passion keeps us chasing it, because there is no high like it! None. Let us continue to explore this more.

Indeed, there is a power in and to creation. And we—and you—have it.

Take All The Time You Need

Writing is a process.

Writing is a journey.

No writing journey is, should be, is a planned to be linear! Time is relative in the life of a writer. It, too, is a tool. It needs to be something you do because you love to do it, or because you have a plethora of things to say! Either way, you are writing BECAUSE you have something to say.

Self-rejection as an artist can be cyclic, triggered by situations and our own mental health! Recognizing what contributes to your writing journey (or lack of one), is imperative to your success as a writer! This journey will be demanding. It will be challenging. It will be rewarding and satisfying as you take the time to cultivate it!

Be gentle with yourself.

Be accountable to yourself.

Remember you write for yourself first. Don’t deprive you, of YOU.

Encouragement Pages-06/17/2020

What are you waiting for?

There is a need within you to write, so why on Earth are you ignoring it? You have worlds within you waiting to be shown and explored!

Be brave and explore them…one word at a time.

With Love & Ink,


Encouragement Pages-04/29/2020- Writers Lie (1)

There are certain things writers aren’t always honest about. And the things we aren’t honest about–we lie about. The biggest lie we tell ourselves as writers is ‘I’ll write it down later.’

I’ll write it down later’ is the biggest lie a writer will tell.

Why do we tell this massive lie, you ask?

We tell it because it’s easier than admitting we won’t make time to write down what we need to. Which is hard.

Writers, today make it the last time you lie to yourself about what you need to write.

Make the time…before you run out of it.

With Love & Ink,


Encouragement Pages-01/29/2020

Self-rejection is a slow poison.

It is a poison whose apothecary is familiar. Whom is familiar with their victims as well as their enemies.

But what happens when they are one and the same?

Every time you reject a story, a portion of your imagination vanishes. Every time you scrap a story because you’re scared to write it, more of you vanishes.

Rage against the dying of the light.

Poison is for those dying or marked for death.

Writing is a source of life.

With Love & Ink,


Encouragement Pages-01/17/2020

Discouragement. Doubt. Self-rejecting.

These are the dragons writers must continually slay. It is not sufficient to leash them, they must be slain. At their deaths, you fuel your pen.

Do not reason with discouragement.

Do not listen to doubt.

Do not think so little of your imagination that you will not entertain or humor it.

Slay the dragons.

And dispatch them without mercy.

With Love & Ink,