Predators, Entities and Witches…My Novel Grows

(Below is part two of my novel writing adventure.  Which story idea do you like best?  Thanks for walking with me on this journey.)

blog photyoGood novels are created from good ideas.  Sometimes the thought of conjuring up a good idea can be quite intimidating.  How many times have I sat down to write, only to stare at a blank page, waiting for the perfect idea to magically pop into my head.  The minutes pass and with every tic of the clock my frustration mounts; and on and on it goes until a pen or two is tossed across the room.

Lucky for me, module two of “The Novel Class” is all about developing good ideas and strong plots.  Ideas are all around us; sort of hidden in plain sight.  The key to scoping them out is to notice…notice…notice.  Keep your writer’s instinct sharpened, play the “what if” scenario 24/7, and always remember “Life is stranger than fiction.”  According to “The Novel Class,” drop dead plots and murderous ideas are just waiting to be captured from our everyday and presumably boring lives.

The class encourages the writer (me) to adopt a “god-like complex” in which you tease the reader with hints and you control your characters by making them bend to your every whim.  I’ve never been a control freak, but damn, I have say, I really like the way that sounds!  The very power of appointing myself the god of my own make-believe world propels me head first into the throes of intoxication.  This very concept changes the whole appeal of fiction writing.  It makes me want to release an evil laugh and whisper, “…let me at’em…”

(Module two of “The Novel Writing Class” assigns me to:  Task 1:  Create three story ideas that you feel may have potential for a novel.  Also Task 2:  Consider sub-stories that could be included in all three of your ideas.)  (I have chosen to keep my sub plots secret.  I hope you enjoy!)    

1st Story Idea:  I Want To Live

9074221Amy, artist/writer/teacher, accepts a position teaching Medieval Art History at a small community college located just outside of Washington DC.  Unbeknownst to her, one of her students is a serial killer who has stalked, captured and killed eight women.  Amy becomes his next fixation.

Like Amy, all of his victims were in their mid to late twenties, well educated, and enjoyed very successful careers.  All eight bodies were found mutilated and floating dead within stagnant ponds across the state of Virginia.

Amy soon awakens to find herself suspended in darkness, hanging like a piece meat in an old root cellar, located in the back-country of the Shenandoah National Forest.

Amy wants to live and vows to do whatever necessary to escape the horrific nightmare.


2nd Story Idea:  The Cabin’s Rule

donner-part-starvation-campNewlyweds, Sam and Candy, are young, practically homeless and poor as Job’s turkey. They are in love and refuse to let present circumstances dampen the happiness they feel at  becoming husband and wife.

Sam’s an hourly employee at Gibbons Hardware Store and works 6 long days a week.   Sam is surprised when “old man Gibbons,” the owner and boss, offers the use his lake cabin for their honeymoon.  Sam and Candy, not wanting to spend their wedding night, in the spare bedroom at Candy’s mother’s house, gratefully accept.

Sam’s old pickup sputters angrily cursing the dirt path beneath it’s tires.  Upon arrival they are, at first,  disheartened with the cabin’s appearance of disarray and abandonment; however, still “high on love” the two quickly push up their sleeves and by nightfall the cabin becomes a quint honeymoon haven, complete with cracking fire and stone hearth.

Their night of bliss begins and in their abandonment they fail to notice the little hints and nuances suggesting something strange about the cabin.  Soon they discover something ancient living within the walls of the cabin and  become crippled with fear when they realize what “it” wants.

The horror within the cabin pits one against the other as they struggle for survival.

It seems old man Gibbons forget to share the cabin’s rule:  Two may enter but only one may leave.

3rd Story Idea:  The Witch Hunt Of Lilly

download (1)Lilly lived in the forest with her mother outside of the village.  The village folk came one by one to their stone house seeking healing from Lilly’s mother.  Lilly inherited the ability of healing and so after the unexpected death of her mother, it was only natural that she follow in her footsteps.

At the age of eighteen, Lilly lives alone in her beloved woods and  gladly welcomes anyone who knocks at her door. Most of those knocks belong to people seeking healing or future telling; however, on occasion young girls caught in the “motherly way” seek her help for quick and private resolution.  Lilly, with her kind heart, never turns them away.  As she bonds with the young women they begin to share their stories of rape, incest and oppression that lay behind the walls of the village.

The puritan village tolerates Lilly and her strange ways…for even  some of the clergy find themselves at her door in the darkness of night.  This continues until one of town’s children disappear and it’s proven that Lilly was the last one to see the child alive.

All eyes turn to Lilly and the witch hunt begins!




What a “Novel” Idea!

chapter-1-pictureI love finding cool Groupons, and that love becomes ever deeper when the said groupon is cheap.  One day while wandering the groupon field I discovered one that offered a “novel writing course” for only five bucks.  “Well,” I say to myself, “It’s cool and it’s cheap.  It’s a “Win-Win,” and before the words left my mouth the groupon was put into my shopping cart!

This purchase occurred months ago and I’ve yet to get my five dollars of worth out of it.  This is true, not because the course sucks, but simply because I’m so damn good at procrastinating.  I chide myself and say within my head (and sometimes out loud), “Okay, Hardy this pattern has  got to change!”

Well, of course I always agree with the rebuke and in that moment I become sanctimonious in the feeling that “change is a’coming.”  Like a “born again” believer I embrace the change and begin my walk on a new path.  My good intentions are clothed with determination and held together by gritted teeth, but then, it never fails…life gets in the way (mostly Facebook).  I try to ease my guilt with promises of “I’ll do it as soon as I ______.  (You fill in the blank)

…and on and on it goes….

Then I had this “novel” idea. (a light-bulb moment)   I say to myself, “Hardy, why don’t you blog about your experience of going through the writing course?  Then perhaps, your readers would hold you accountable and  together, with their help, you could get this novel written!”  With that thought in mind I grabbed my computer and begin to write, and so, here I am, again, feeling sanctimonious and determined to get it done!  I’m excited because I truly believe blogging as I progress through the course will keep me true to my intent.

It is my hope that you, my readers, will poke and prod me to stay the “course” of this “novel” idea!  (All puns intended.)

This “novel course” is divided into 19 modules, and so without further ado I present module one:

 Task:  Explain why you want to write a novel, detail how long you have had this ambition, identify the type of novel you would like to write, and describe how you feel before commencing the writing process.

Module I: 

I want to write a novel because when I write I live.  Nothing in this world makes me feel more alive than channeling my creative spirit.  I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember.  As a child I grew up walking a rusty dirt road that hugged the corner of our old home place in rural 1905_new3North Carolina.  My bare feet plodded the road, one step at a time but  imagination whisked me away to worlds unknown; and my dirty little feet never left the dusty ground.

I was a quiet and extremely shy child that lived in her head most of the time.   My make-believe world proved easier to navigate than reality.

Many times I played the cowboy, Clint Eastwood…if you will, crossing a scorching hot desert in search for  water to cool my blistered lips.  I still remember the hand-me-down poncho I wore.  It wasclint_eastwood the coolest of all my clothing because when I put it over my shoulders I stepped into a land of “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”.  Oh and yes, I can never forget how a crayon magically became the cheroot my hero smoked or rather chewed.

One night while watching television I happened upon Bowman Body, a ghoulish creature who hosted a horror show complete with Vampires, Werewolves and monsters galore.  After this discovery I was helplessly hooked on the macabre and I watched and read anything spooky I could find.  Of course as I grew older I discovered the demented world of Stephen King and I was, to say the least, mesmerized!  I am still in awe of the man and devour his work like a zombie eating brains. (I’ve always wanted to write that line)(BIG satisfied smile)

I am my own worst critic.  I let fear keep me from that which inspires me most.  I have these wonderful horrible stories festering inside, begging to be released and yet I fear to put them to ink as they may not be as beautiful on paper as in my head.  They are my babies, my creation and I don’t want to do them disservice, and so I succumb to the idea that not writing them is better than writing them poorly.

What am I to do?  I fear mediocre so much so I hush my writer’s voice with the hope of escaping failure.   Ironically, in my endeavor to escape failure,  I only embrace it all the more.   Still, never a day passes that I don’t think of writing.   It’s like an ember never dying.  It’s there, inside…it’s always there…ever burning.  Dare I fan the flames?

Stay tuned…