A few weeks ago I started writing the beginnings of what was to be my first foray into horror fiction. One of the characters, a villain, was an ex-military sniper who planned to use the cover of protests to enable a murder and a heist. The horror element involves what was being stolen. A valuable, but cursed, Nazi artifact.
I even included a scene where a drone armed with a bomb was used to stop someone assisting my villain, which is basically how the police ended the recent Dallas sniper’s reign of terror.
My villain was obsessed with occult Nazi artifacts. I made him black, because I thought it would add a bit of unusualness to the story and I wanted an unnervingly intelligent, thoughtful villain that didn’t fit the usual mold of a European Bond villain type. To be completely honest, when I write characters I usually imagine a specific actor playing the role and I imagine Idris Elba for the role because I’m a huge fan of his.
Other than that, there was no reason for him to be of any particular race and it wasn’t going to be very forward in the story. But the world is more insane than fiction and now there was an ex-military black sniper who killed people during a protest.
It’s not like I’m some Nostradamus or anything. I simply have an excellent talent for imagining horrible things. I wish I wasn’t wired that way, but I am. Since I’m stuck with this brain, I figured I’d mine it for darkness and write a scary story. The idea originally came from watching the not-so-great movie American Sniper. I imagined what it would be like if a person like that did not have family responsibilities, was tainted with nihilism, and was influenced by demonic forces.
If horror has a job, it’s to respond to the anxieties of the time it’s written in. Dracula was a response to Victorian sexual repression. NIghtbreed is about the persecution of gays (I would say LGBT, but I’ve never heard Clive Barker refer to it that way). I could go on and on with examples.
The anxieties I’m trying to address in this type of writing are overwhelming government control, unhealthy obsessions with imagined historical utopias, tribal violence, Capitalism induced desperation, the loss of faith, global slums, planetary extinction, feral children, creeping nihilism, and all the other fun stuff that keeps me awake at night.
My fiction muscles are not well developed. The ideas come easy, but the writing is not good. I have a list of super crazy story ideas, but the heavy lifting, the daily writing, has been uphill. This blog shit is super easy in comparison. I actually thought it would be helpful, however, it’s such a different animal. It’s almost like being in shape to run marathons and then wanting to compete in powerlifting. Both disciplines require “fitness”of very different kinds.
If I’ve learned anything from the amount of writing I’ve been doing, it’s that consistency is always key. With any luck I should have something finished by the end of the year (my goal). Anyway, fingers crossed that plague causing mushroom spores recovered from a meteorite that give the people who eat them the ability to warp space and summon alien necromancers is not a thing anytime soon.