Ghost Road Blues by Jonathan Maberry

Simply put, a fantastic ghost story. Like a horror film from the 80s updated and put in novel form.

Three things I learned about writing:

  • 3rd person omniscient works only if you stay out of characters’ individual perspectives. Say what happens, and report what they think, but as an outsider
  • Tragedy for a minor character has more impact if we spend some time with them first, however little, to see how they act normally
  • Remember that characters only know what they see, and that can mislead them sometimes. That’s okay. Let them be wrong when they should be wrong, so that when they’re right it’ll feel like triumph.

11/22/63 by Stephen King

Compelling. Read the last half of this 900+ page monster in a single day.

Still amazes me how King’s writing style is so slight as to be non-existent, but with it he creates these incredibly long, involved, gripping stories.┬áTruly a master of the craft.

Three things I learned about writing:

  • Horror stories lean on senses other than sight: smell and taste, in particular. These senses are more intimately connected with our bodies, making the texture of the story more physical.
  • A simple task can have tension if the reader is kept guessing as to what might happen, and if the character thinks things could go horribly wrong; if the character has a goal-threatening freak-out, that’s even better.
  • Horror needs a temptation: an invitation to follow a compulsion the character normally wouldn’t, with promises (usually false) given that make it seem ok.