Today has been a bit of a revelation for me. On this day I’m turning in my Doctor Who Fan and Horror Writer badges. It kinda funny how the reasons for these two different things have much in common in the reasons.
It started with the recent episode of Doctor Who. I’ll admit, since the sixth season, I have been weary of Doctor Who and Steven Moffat’s tenure as show runner. But I stuck through it, mostly because I’m a lore nerd and wanted the resolution to the stuff Moffat setup in the very first episode of season 5 (and if anyone says waiting 3 years to resolve a story in a TV show, mostly because you avoid it existing in a majority of episodes only to do so in a heavy-handed way when you are ending a characters run–so basically time ran out on you while you dragged your feet–is a good method of storytelling, don’t believe them). With all that said and done, this season would be the make it or break it one. And despite Peter Capaldi’s excellent portrayal of The Doctor, it comes back to Moffat’s bad habits of writing getting in the way of the stories to grow into something amazing. Despite a lot of hate out there, “Listen” was about 80% great. If it were a Twilight Zone or Outer Limits episode, it would be one of the bests, the problems lies with it being connected to the universe–and thus established “laws”–of Doctor Who and Moffat’s continues breaking those rules for really no good reason besides it cool in this episode, but in the next one they are absolute like they always have been. This is the trouble all writers of every kind deal with when working in a shared universe. This is why I even think it’s actually a great idea to get rid of the Expanded Universe history to make room for the new Star Wars Trilogy. The problem with Doctor Who is that Moffat breaks the rules and continuity of the universe when ever he sees fit and doesn’t handle the consequences to make satisfying stories, but not at the cost of logic and consistency. So, as long as Moffat is show runner, I choosing to avoid the new show. I kind of sucks, because I know that if others did the same, while it might get rid of Moffat, we would also lose Capaldi, and I think he deserves a shot with another show runner and better scripts.
It may not be much surprise that bad writing is a reason among many that I’ve decided to remove myself as an active member of the horror writing community. I’ll be frank, I never really considered myself a horror writer, but wasn’t really any other kind of writer either and horror was the closest thing out there. Some of you may remember a post I did about horror stories and what I called “snuff stories.” One of the things that has bothered me for years is that what the horror genre of writing is stagnant. For a genre that lives so much outside of the control of the big publishers and has more freedom to be inventive, the lack of inventiveness is staggering. And the fact that there have been many great books, both in the stereotypical horror fashion and those creating something new for the genre, have been denied support from the community, I just can’t be a part of that. And that is just on a creative aspect. Over the last few years I’ve heard enough stories and accounts of stuff that is just down right wrong that has spurred exclusion and nepotism within horror writers than personally just don’t want to be associated with such actions. This doesn’t mean that i won’t read a horror novel or that I might write one myself one day. As far as reading, I’m no longer going to be as selflessly supportive as I used to. If I considered you a friend, I’d pick up your book when I could to help and support. Now, you gotta sell it to me like any other customer. But if it in anyway calls back or references a horror movie made from 1978 to present day, don’t bother unless it is also the next great american novel as well. When it comes to writing, I have always been of the mind that genre is something that happens after a story is written, not before or during. If you choose that, you deny possible avenues for the story become something better and stronger. Genre is a marketing plan and should be left there. So, if I write a story that is best marketed as horror, I try to sell it to horror publishers. But it does meant that I’m not going to actively pursue horror publishers or markets like I used to, and any offers to be part of one are going to be hard sells.
This also means that I won’t return to either Non-Horror Reader Survey or Eldritch Thoughts. Haven’t decided if I’ll close them completely or leave them there for the occasional visitor. but I’m not putting anymore effort into them.
It’s been fun, for the most part, but I got big things to do. Later all!