Staring Down The End

Before I talk about the topic du jour, I wanted to let you all know that there’s some exciting news on the near horizon that I hope to share in the coming weeks. I’ll give you a hint. I’ve been writing quite a few stories for various anthologies and things are lining up quite nicely. Over the holidays, I also finished the first draft of a follow up to Forest of Shadows and I’m putting the finishing touches on an adventure series for kids. Yet, I still found time to watch the entire first 2 seasons of Justified, which I now declare the best show on TV. (American Horror Story and The Walking Dead come in a close second) Raylen Givens is a complete, all American badass.

As I look up at my Vampirella calendar, I can’t believe the Super Bowl is already here. I was out and about today picking up food, beer and selecting some damn good cigars for the big day’s festivities. As a Seahawks fan, I have no skin in the game, but you can’t beat a day of drinking and eating with family and friends. And no, I don’t live in Seattle or the west coast, for that matter. I grew up a Steve Largent fan, plus the helmets were bitchin’.

Last but far from least, the Monster Men tackle the devil, possession, exorcism and a review of The Devil Inside in our 13th episode. Check it out, but make sure you hold onto your rosary beads.

OK, on with the show….

I’m going to attack this particular subject from the angle of a horror writer, but this applies to anyone who creates something, whether it be a  book, painting, video game, whatever, and gives it up to the world to see and, inevitably, critique. As human beings, we all just want to be loved. That’s why the Beatles are the greatest group of all time. They understood. When we create something from our soul or gray matter if you want to be pragmatic, putting it out for general consumption is a lot like streaking through the quad at lunch time. (Feel free to chant Frank the Tank at this point.) You’re utterly exposed, your stomach cramping, waiting for the worst, and odds are, there’s some shrinkage.

Every writer needs a very thick skin. (Gift idea for those of you looking to get the person who has everything!)You have to absorb rejection like a Shamwow. You have to work with agents and editors as they pick apart your words, fine tuning it until it’s something not only readable, but saleable. And when you’re done putting a spit shine to your book or story or poem, presto!, it goes out into the great beyond, available for all to read.

From that point on, all that’s left is the feedback, reviews, tweets, posts, and on and on. You pray that it will all be good, but you know deep down you can’t please everyone. There will always be people who don’t like your book. Hell, some will even hate it and ask Jesus in their prayers why He ever let you think you could become a writer in the first place.

And this is exactly what stops a lot of aspiring writers dead in their tracks. Sure, some of them will say they just need to give their manuscript a little tweak (possibly the 132nd revision in what seems as many years), but deep down, they’re terrified of what people will say. So they never get to THE END, constantly worrying that it’s just not good enough for everyone. Some folks will even change their theme or message, worried that it may offend some or cause even the slightest controversy. Any writer will tell you, you can literally tweak a work for the rest of your life. It’s up to you to end it.

For those of you who are struggling to face this fear, the only thing I can advise is to just stare it down with your best Raylen Givens squinty eyes and tell it to get lost. Even the very best writers have their critics. I think we can all agree that Stephen King is at the top of the horror game, and he gets a healthy dose of crappy, some downright nasty, reviews. Whether it’s love or hate, it’s an emotion, and isn’t that really what art is about; evoking an emotional response? So let it rip, scatter it to the winds of public opinion, and get to work on your next book. The End is just six key strokes away.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

About Hunter Shea

Hunter Shea is the product of a childhood weened on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. Hunter Shea is the product of a childhood weened on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. His novels, Forest of Shadows, Evil Eternal , Swamp Monster Massacre , Sinister Entity, Hell Hole, The Waiting and Island of the Forbidden are published through Samhain Publishing’s horror line. Hell Hole was named Horror Novel Reviews #1 horror novel of 2014. His first thriller novel, The Montauk Monster, was released June, 2014 as a Pinnacle paperback, and was named by Publishers Weekly as one of the best reads of the summer. His follow up Pinnacle novel, Tortures of the Damned, a post apocalyptic thriller, will be out July, 2015. That will be followed up by his latest cryptid tale, The Dover Demon, in the fall through Samhain. His horror short story collection, Asylum Scrawls, is available as an e-book, straightjacket not included. Hunter is an amateur cryptozoologist, having written wild, fictional tales about Bigfoot, The Montauk Monster, The Dover Demon and many new creatures to come. A copy of his book, The Montauk Monster, is currently on display in the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, ME. He wrote his first novel with the express desire to work only with editor Don D’Auria at Dorchester (Leisure Horror). He submitted his novel to Don and only Don, unagented, placed on the slush pile. He is proof that dedicated writers can be rescued from no man’s land. He now works with Don, along with several other agents and publishers, having published over ten books in just four years. Hunter is proud to be be one half of the Monster Men video podcast, along with his partner in crime, Jack Campisi. It is one of the most watched horror video podcasts in the world. Monster Men is a light hearted approach to dark subjects. Hunter and Jack explore real life hauntings, monsters, movies, books and everything under the horror sun. They often interview authors, cryptid and ghost hunters, directors and anyone else living in the horror lane. Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to get Gray’s Papaya hotdogs when the craving hits. His daughters have also gotten the horror bug, assisting him with research, story ideas and illustrations that can be seen in magazines such as Dark Dossier.

6 responses to “Staring Down The End”

  1. benzeknees says :

    I have admired Stephen King for years & will often re-read many of his books (especially the really long ones or series). I really like his character development – by the end of the book I feel like I really know this character & could predict how they would continue to act beyond the end of the book. It is precisely because his character development is so good, I fail to finish my work. My characters seem flat & lifeless compared to his. But I am taking steps & getting back into writing a little at a time, so hopefully one day I will have the book I always wanted to write.

    • Hunter Shea says :

      I agree, King’s greatest strength as a writer is his ability to build up amazing characters. He’s one of the best at it, bar none, in any genre. The key is not to get yourself bogged down in comparisons to King. He’s who he is, and you are who you are. The world already has Stephen King. What it needs is your voice, your method, your story. Sometimes you have to put some blinders on and just write from your heart. Best of luck!

  2. Paul D. Dail says :

    Some good points here, my friend. And interesting to relate it to Stephen King. You’re absolutely right. He does get quite a fair share of bad reviews. Of course, if I was making the money he is making, it might make it easier to swallow 🙂 Chuck Wendig just did a pretty funny post on this recently (about how writers must be crazy to keep doing what we do).

    I think you’ve hit on my biggest problem with academia as a writer. They seem to cultivate this endless cycle of write, workshop, revise, repeat. At some point, you got to suck it up and put it out there. (Granted, many indie authors would benefit from at least one or two of those cycles). I’m feeling okay that I haven’t got that bad review yet, but I’m pretty sure it’s because only my friends are reading my book. ha ha… ha?

    Anyway, not familiar with Justified. Can I get it through Netflix (no cable for me)? And it looks like I’ll be going to the WHC in Salt Lake at the end of March. Planning on pitching to Samhain. Seems like they’ve treated you pretty well. Are you attending?

    Paul D. Dail
    http://www.pauldail.com- A horror writer’s not necessarily horrific blog

    • Hunter Shea says :

      Thanks Paul. And don’t get me started on the cult known as critique groups. That’s where good writers go to live in limbo. You can get season seasons 1 and 2 of Justified on Netflix. That’s how I got caught up. Unfortunately, I won’t be at WHC. I will be at Horrorfind on Labor Day weekend. Definitely talk to the Samhain folks and feel free to let them know you and I have gotten to know each other. They’re a great group to work with.

  3. Chris Kosarich says :

    Cool site, Hunter…and enjoyed FOREST OF SHADOWS! Best of luck with future books and will definitely check out the followup to FOS when it hits the shelves (real or digital)…as well as your other stuff.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: