Monday, March 17, 2014

What Do You Do When...

I have a bit of a dilemma.

I have an awesome idea for a story, but I just don't want to write it.

It's basically a zombie story. Now, while I am all for paranormal, dark fantasy, urban fantasy genres, I feel like zombies have been overdone as much as other paranormal/horror creatures.

Also, at the risk of losing friends, I've never been much of a zombie fan. I did get into watching "The Walking Dead" while I was down in Arizona. It's not a bad show. I just never really liked zombies. I will watch "Shaun of the Dead" repeatedly. Mainly because it is freakin' hilarious and I love Simon Pegg.

So what do you do when you have, what you think is, a good story idea, but you don't want to write it? I could pawn it off on someone, but I don't know. All you writers out there have your own ideas for stuff.

It just seems to me that (and this is JUST my opinion, please don't take offense), horror creatures are becoming more "soft and cuddly", rather than the vicious, bloodthirsty monsters they were meant to be.

Let's take Vampires, for instance. Some of the "trying to get their soul back/obtain absolution" Vamps just aren't scary. Like the TV series, "Angel". Don't get me wrong, I LOVE that show. Along with "Buffy". Yes, Angel could be scary at times. But Spike, in the beginning, was more menacing. But even Spike got soft. In the show, "The Vampire Diaries", the Originals were the cold-blooded killers I remember. And so was Damon Salvatore. Stefan Salvatore is not what I would call cold-blooded. Sadly.

Werewolves are the same. They're a thing to be concerned about, but not feared. I know we've had this conversation several times over. It is my opinion that horror monsters have been brought down a peg or two on the Scary Scale, mainly to mollify people who don't like to be scared. And let's face it, our world is scary enough. Why add to it? Yet people flock to see the "Saw" movies. So why can't our good old, marauding, murderous horror monsters go back to the way they were?

If you have any book suggestions for me on vamps, werewolves, etc., I'll gladly check them out. And please don't get offended. Again, this is just my opinion. I've seen some good books where the paranormal creatures weren't as violent as back in my day. I just think they are few and far between. Personally, I am about to embark down the paranormal, dark fantasy, urban fantasy road myself. So what would you like to see? More old school horror? Or today's horror?


Vicki Rocho said...

I find characters tend to get watered down across the board the longer they're around. TV is bad at this. You fall in love with a show because the characters are unique and quirky, but the longer the show is on the air, the more the characters mellow into something blah. As for supernatural creatures, they just aren't frightening if they have a conscience! They're supposed to be indiscriminate killers not selective part-time predators...

Didn't answer your question, though. I'd just shelve the idea - flesh it out enough you'll be able to pick it up in 2 years and remember where you wanted to go with it, but let it sit and maybe this monster phase will come back again. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

We do need to bring back scary and vicious monsters. You should outline the story and see what happens. Maybe you will write it.
The Light at the End by Skipp and Spector is a great scary vampire tale.

Mel Chesley said...

@ Vicki ~ I agree. The longer the series goes on, the more washed out the characters seem to get. Now, I have to admit, I haven't seen ALL of The Vampire Diaries, but at one point, the character, Damon, was getting a bit squishy. What I loved, was his "heart" was broken again, snapping him back to that cold blooded killer he was supposed to be. I know half this stuff is written for the fans. "Oooh! Don't be too scary!" But come on! I want to see something completely unexpected.

@ Alex ~ I have been mulling the story over. I do think I could write it and write it well. It is just difficult when you don't like the paranormal creature and have absolutely no love or connection with it. And I will totally check out that book. Thanks!

Joseph Lallo said...

I think the longer an idea is around, the more people try to explore the concept. If something begins as horror, eventually people will want to see if it can be made sympathetic, or more emotionally complex. Like all experiments, this can go well, or it can get sparkly.

Meanwhile, things that traditionally aren't considered scary at all will be explored by being given the horror treatment. This is how we learned that little girls in frilly dresses singing nursery rhymes can be downright chilling under the right circumstances.

The monsters of old are still in their menacing, ravening glory in plenty of fiction, but since the angsty types have the most novelty right now, they are the current standard bearers.

As for writing the story you don't like? I agree, jot down the ideas. If you have no love for the creature as is, change it into something you do like. That sort of brings the conversation full circle.