Why I’m afraid of turning into Rob Zombie and a SIA365 check in

Between the Heaves of Storm should seriously be the most interesting and exciting book of the Jason and Azazel series yet. Why? Because after all this time, hinting that Jason was evil incarnate, I get to actually show him being evil incarnate!

We have been waiting for this. It’s climactic. Someone wrote a comment about Tortured once on a website other than my own that said something like, “I can’t stop reading it. I have to find out if they’re actually going to be evil.” So. Yeah, that’s the carrot I’ve been dangling for the past two years. Now, I’m forced to pony up and actually show the evil.

This terrifies me, because I’m afraid of becoming Rob Zombie. Oh, stop scratching your head. I’m going to explain. In most books about all-consuming evil, like when a character descends into madness and depravity, it’s done mostly offscreen, or it’s handled in such a way that it’s not, you know, graphic. Let’s take Heart of Darkness and Lord of the Flies as examples. In H of D, Kurtz loses it completely before we even met him, and so we’re left with a handful of tantalizing clues as to what exactly it was Kurtz did to be so remarkably evil. There’s a ring of heads on stakes outside his house. We’re told he presided over certain unspeakable rituals. We hear an anecdote about Kurtz telling a guy he’d kill him if he felt like it for ivory. Our own heads fill in the rest. In L of the F, the killing of Simon is described within the flurry of a chanting dance. There’s no real descriptions of blood or stabbing or anything else. Again, we put this together ourselves.

This is all well and good, but Between cannot take the easy way out. Leaving people in the dark about how exactly Jason and Azazel become evil and making them connect the dots themselves wouldn’t do justice to the story and it wouldn’t be fair to the people who’ve been reading this long, wondering if they’re going to be evil or not if I did that. So I feel all this pressure to explain exactly how they’re evil. (And the pressure is getting to me in some ways, I think.)

Here’s where Rob Zombie comes in. Rob Zombie started making these completely visceral horror movies in the 2000s. I hated them, because they were not any fun. They focused completely on the evil of the killers, lovingly showing every single grotesque thing the killers did. It made me nauseous. I wanted horror to be about triumphing over the monster, not about the monster winning and laughing about it. Anyway, I don’t want to write a story like that. I don’t want to go there. I mean, these are my heroes. Why am I dragging them down this destructive path? What have I done?

I need to find a happy medium. Maybe that happy medium is Quenton Tarantino.

Anyway, I’ll figure it out. In terms of SIA365 (my writing plan for the year, which stands for Screw It All for 365 days and means I will write whenever I want about whatever I want), here’s what I’ve done this year. All without word count goals:

-Finished Invoke
-Written Little Sister (25K novella)
-Worked feverishly on the outline for Between the Heaves of Storm
-Written 10K on Horns
-toyed with a novel about cults (no outline…2K of exploratory first chapter-ness)

Not bad. 🙂