Book Talk, Pet Sematary by Stephen King

To change things up and keep it fresh, I am going to do short videos on my favorite books through the years. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the book in topic. Either comment here, or on YouTube. I look forward to some discussions and getting to know you better.

Adverbs, Stephen King, and the rules.

Let’s talk a bit about grammar rules.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King,

The adverb is not your friend. 

Adverbs … are words that modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. They’re the ones that usually end in -ly. Adverbs, like the passive voice, seem to have been created with the timid writer in mind…SK.

My biggest challenge as a writer is grammar. I feel like I have a grammar disability. I love to write. I love to read. In fact, I have read thousands of books over the years; too bad I haven’t been able to grasp grammar by osmosis. But I push on, give it my all, and pray my editors won’t give up on me, because I am a great story teller, (hint, hint, shameless plug).

Every time I write, some of these rules snap me out of flow and say, ‘wait, you can’t use adverbs remember!’  and I have to stop and try to re-work the sentence to fit. Many times, I give up and tell myself I’ll fix it before editing.

Imagine my shock when I decided to re-read one of my all-time favorites, The Talisman by King and Peter Straub, and I noticed this page littered with adverbs.

12 of them on page 51

Quickly

Really

Wanly

Slowly

Sharply

Mostly

Utterly rational and utterly lucid (back to back in the same sentence)

Hardly

Quietly

Barely

Clearly

Okay so what does this mean to me? Or you? Uh…rules are meant to be broken!

Also, I don’t think Mr. King was being a stickler, but perhaps teaching newbies to pay attention to their writing? If I’m lucky, he’ll get wind of this little blog and come chime in 😊  Yes wishful thinking, but stranger things have happened. Ramsey Campbell wished me a happy birthday! FAN GIRLING

Anyways I digress. I found this great blog from someone with a strong grasp in the art of grammar, and it helped me understand a bit more about the rules.

https://www.enchantingmarketing.com/how-to-use-adverbs/

I hope this helps any others who tackle the same struggles I do. Drop a line, let me know what you think.

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What is Horror?

Horror as defined  by Dictionary.com

noun
  1. an overwhelming and painful feeling caused by something frightfully shocking,   terrifying, or revolting; a shuddering fear

 https://www.dictionary.com/browse/horror

Why do we love it so much?

My personal theory – I am not going to get into the actual psychology of it, or steal others thoughts. I feel as though horror represents a deep, mysterious, unknown that draws people. At least it does for me. It’s the curiosity that drives us humans.

The “other” big unanswered questions.

Are ghosts real?

Will the dead ever rise?

What is that noise in the dark?

What makes the serial killer tick?

Why can some people be compassionate and generous, while others take pleasure in anothers suffering?

Secondary, the need to have a different emotion. To be happy, sad, angry, thrilled, and terrified, all the things that let us know we are alive.

 

How we we as authors fit into this niche?

I want to discuss the long career of none other than Dean Koontz.

WHY?

Because he is a great example of a writer pigeon-holed in the bookstores. My personal opinion of this is because it’s easier! I find few of his books to be right out horror. Many are thrillers, or suspense, and most are conspiracy theories. All of them excellent works of fluid language and characters we care about – but not horror.

The first book he published in 1968 was a Science Fiction, Star Quest. He went on to publish book after book, in various names, from Sci-fi, to suspense, to horror. His first commercial success was Whispers, under his own name, in 1980.

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This shows us writers that the struggle is real! The work is arduous and rarely is any author an over night sensation.

Anyone who reads my work are apt to say, “this is not horror,” and they would be correct. I have perhaps one – in your face – horror, Sudden Death. It’s cheesy, campy, b-movie material and I love it.  Some hate it.

My others are more creature feature suspense, paranormal (without the sappy romance), occult perhaps? The defining lines are hard navigate. Therefore I stick to the lose and unwritten bookstore rules and shelve myself along with Mr. Koontz & Mr King in horror.

My hard core horror loves are, (not in any order) Ramsey Campbell,  Richard Laymon, Clive Barker, Philip Rickman and the also straying Robert McCammon…there are more but this list can go on and on.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on why you like horror. The horror gig as a writer and share your favorites too.

Happy Horror Month!

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