Writing Update – February 2022

What type of writer am I? I posed this question in my last writing update and now I think I have an answer. I decided I couldn’t pick just one genre and achieve the “singular focus” I spoke of. It’s just not who I am.

Horror is my love these days, what I think of morning and night. I’m obsessed with it. But I can’t just dismiss bizarro fiction, the genre that has done so much for me, that reinvigorated my passion for writing. And so, I’ve reached a compromise that I think of this way: I’ll major in horror and minor in bizarro. I’m not alone in this. I know of a number of authors who do the same.

With that decided, I feel I can continue my writing journey, unhindered by questions of identity. This is who I am.

The Autobiography of M

While I’m waiting to hear back from my editor on Generica, I caught the editing bug and took out the old manuscript of a horror novella I wrote several years back entitled The Autobiography of M. I spent the next week scouring it with a red pen.

This was my first attempt at long horror fiction, back in 2019. I borrowed from cosmic horror and the haunted house subgenre to tell the story of the descent from innocence into evil. But this book took a direction that was completely out of my control, and in the end became something abhorrent.

I’ve read extreme horror before, enjoyed it even, but I never thought I’d write it. The Autobiography of M, while not half as extreme as the work of say Wrath James White, still disturbed me to the point that I can barely read some of my own passages.

That’s good, right? The fiction is doing its job. But it bothers me that something so twisted came from my mind. I don’t want to put that energy out into the world, nor do I want to associate it with my name.

The Autobiography of M contains some of my best characterization and currently stands as the best horror anything I’ve written. But it is destined to sit on my shelf for however long it takes for me to make peace with the fact that my mind created these repulsive characters, these appalling scenes. And considering the wuss that I am, it might take some time.

The real-life island mansion where the Autobiography of M is set

Short Stories

I’ve written three short stories since my last writing update. All horror, all “practice.” I tell myself that I need to hone my writing before I submit to another publication. But that’s bull honkey. After all, I wrote “The Uytoroi” with little to no “practice” ahead of time, and it got published.

My goal for next month is to seek out an anthology and write something for it. Whether I hit SEND or not, I can decide later, but I want to get in the habit of writing for publication. After all, I resolved to submit at least four stories this year.

Still, the process of turning out a story each week is helping immensely. That herculean task is slowly becoming second nature. And while I have a LONG way to go, my improvement with each story keeps me going.

Since I’ve started the Bradbury Method, I’ve written 23 stories. While all need plenty of work—some need complete rewrites—they are all promising in their own way, and who knows, I might have a collection by the end of this.

I apologize for not posting more this month. The combination of a soggy brain and a dearth of ideas got in my way.

Hopefully, I’ll see you soon,


One thought on “Writing Update – February 2022

  1. Pingback: Writing & Reading Update – March 2022 | Zé Burns | Blog

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