I started writing because I love a great ghost story. I also love a great mystery and/or thriller. What happened, quite by accident, is my books cross genres. My readers don’t seem to mind and, after all, who do I write for except for the readers who enjoy a great supernatural thriller? In my short career, I’ve been humbled to be compared to such greats as Edgar Allen Poe, H.P. Lovecraft and even Stephen King (King’s early works, that is.)
So, today I was online looking for something interesting to blog about. I found the following article on the writing tips Edgar Allen Poe might give a new author. Although they aren’t really from Poe, as it states at the end of the article, they made me chuckle and I somewhat identified with the tips. I hope you enjoy them, too. So, here goes:
Edgar Allan Poe penned immortal poems, such as “The Raven” and “Annabel Lee,” and unforgettable tales of psychological horror, such as “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Masque of Red Death,” The Cask of Amontillado,” and “The Fall of the House of Usher.” He was also a prominent literary critic and essayist, as well as the inventor of the detective story.
In a recently-found treatise, he set down the following advice for bettering a story: *
- Employ an unreliable narrator, preferably one who doesn’t know he is insane and has no recollection of such events as digging into a grave to rip out the teeth of his recently departed lover.
- Include a beautiful woman with raven locks and porcelain skin, preferably quite young, and let her die tragically of some unknown ailment.
- Use grandiloquent words, such as heretofore, forthwith, and nevermore. A little Latin will also enhance the text.
- Do not shy away from such grotesqueries as inebriation, imprisonment, insanity, and men costumed as orangutans being burned to death.
- When in doubt, bury someone alive.
* Poe didn’t really compose this advice, but, as he was fond of a good hoax, we hope he would be pleased by this affectionate charade. (Article reprinted from: Gotham Writers Workshop website)
To date, no one has been buried alive in my books (yet). Nor, have I used heretofore or Latin to spice it up. All of which could be good advice given the right context.
A big thank you my readers. You are the encouragement that keeps me writing the Iconoclast series
Until Next Time,