June 10th, 2008

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On Spooky Stuff

Although I'd written various little bits and pieces over the years, the first story I remember actually sitting down at a typewriter and "writing like a real story" was an attempt at a ghost story. I'd grown up scouring the local library juvenile collections for such stuff, to the point where my mom took to forbidding me from checking them out because they were keeping me up all night scared of ghosts just outside my door.

My story, thankfully now lost in the mists of time, was pretty thin on plot; it started with the time-honored setup of "Joe Narrator inherits house from creepy relative, moves in, and discovers all sorts of quasi-gothic weirdness going on." I barely remember any of it now, but what I do remember was pretty darn awful. The narrator was flippant and glib, the setting derived mostly from things I'd seen on television, and the story boiled down to "Toss Macguffin A into Otherworldly Portal B, then run away."

On the other hand, I was 11 years old, so it was a pretty ambitious work, considering.

My recent excursion into The Lost Crown et al., combined with contemplation on my upcoming writing efforts, reminded me of this and led me to wonder what I would do these days if I were to attempt to write a spooky tale. Michael Macbeth, while he is all about forays into supernatural (or at least the esoteric), is more of a "weird comedy." And of course, Lords of Khaldun is pretty creepy, but is more a vignette than an actual tale.

Hmm. I'll have to ponder it.

-The Gneech