To Write Well, be Well-read
Many years ago, the sentiment contained in the title would have gone without saying. These days, I believe it is necessary to say it loud and clear: put down the mass market trash and pick up something worthwhile. Writers who are fortunate enough to scratch out a living from doing what they love make time to read and certainly choose that which is relevant to their work. For those of us as yet less lucky, our time is even more valuable. Choose well.
As we have now entered the millennium, (and have been slowly doing so for a long time) Horror has become more popular than ever before. So many aspirants to the craft are attracted by the dollar signs contained therein. This is a shame, because they are making a huge mistake, that being: they waste their time and money (for nobody uses the library anymore) reading all of this modern material instead of choosing the best of it. Then they set down to the keyboard without clue one on how these works are conceived. Their first pieces tend to be of the ‘gross-out’ variety, and these poor souls wonder why they gain lukewarm receptions in this forum.
You cannot produce horror without a thorough grounding in scripture: Old Testament and Revelations especially. This is particularly true for the writers of the millennium generation. Read the Bible folks. Then, if you are really thinking examine Ancient Hebrew legends not in the book: there is a lot of it, and examine Cabala especially the Tree of Life and the theory of the two pillars of positive and negative (white and black) energies. After you have absorbed all of that, it’s going to take a while, then look into the Tarot and Astrology. Yes gang, a lot of crap to read and understand, and it’s not crap. Definitely look into the stuff by Alistair Crowley, he was an evil bastard but he did know a thing or three. Once you understand the concept of why and how hellfire and brimstone works then you can write about it.
That brings me to the Greeks. It was all done before, people. If you understand Hades and poetic justice then you can really write some kick-ass books if you have the gift of words. So writers of the millennium generation: let’s give those who now rule the genre a run for their money. Book up, bone up, and write better stuff then they do. That’s how we can all break through together. Let’s give the English speaking world trash that is not trash, something with relevance and a message. Don’t be like them, be yourselves and dare to be better. Who dares, wins. Peace to all.