Wednesday, July 1, 2015

IWSG: The Dark Side


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I'm getting ready to release my second collection of short fiction, Garden of Lost Souls, and the nerves are jangling.

One reason is that it hasn't been all that long since I've truly and publicly (yeh, new blog header!) acknowledged my penchant for writing dark fiction and horror. Even though I've been writing it for awhile, I've always treated it as an acquaintance - one you shake hands with, not one you happily embrace. 

Sure, the previous collection is not all sunshine and unicorns but this one is decidedly darker. I wonder if I will lose readers who prefer some of my "lighter" stories? Will I gain others? Will readers familiar with horror stories mock my attempt to join the big boys and girls of the genre? 

I admit, I'm kind of scared. 

Ironic, isn't it?

58 comments:

  1. I know it can be hard to embrace a genre that you're not used to (or just not admitting you're used to it...). I'm sure your stories are fantastic!

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    1. I wish I knew why it took me so long to do so.

      And thank you, Sarah. I appreciate that. :)

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  2. Hi Madeline, I agree it gets scary for us writers when we embrace a new genre. All we can do is assure ourselves that as writers we need to stretch that writing muscle by trying something different and that we did our best. Readers' reaction is not in our hands.

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    1. Great reminders, Rachna, about stretching that writing muscle and that readers' reactions are out of our hands. Thank you!

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  3. Ha, yes, I suppose it is ironic that your scary stories have scared you --- see? They're already doing a great job!

    I think the most important thing that readers pick up on is the passion of the author - passion only happens when you write what you yearn to write, not when you write what's safe. Congratulations on the collection!

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    1. Ha! :)

      And thank you for the reminders about readers picking up on the passion of the writer and about not writing what's safe.

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  4. Be who you are. You can never please everyone anyhow.

    And you can always separate genres by pen names. That way, you can have your dark and keep your light readers, too. ;)

    IWSG #123 until Alex culls the list again.

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    1. As much as I know I can't please everyone, can't please every reader, I still want to. Must stop that. :)

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  5. That is so exciting about your release! Embrace it and be happy in the moment. I'm sure your darker stories will be wonderful, and even if you do lose readers, then obviously, they aren't the readers you want to have. Write what you love and the readers will come.

    I love your new blog header, by the way! :)

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    1. Thank you, Kristin! Love this - "Write what you love and the readers will come." :)

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  6. And understandable. I'm excited for it! You know how much I LOVE your writing.

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    1. I always appreciate your support, Crystal! Thank you!

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  7. I think writers who like your voice and style will stay with you through dark and light. Go for it.
    Susan Says

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  8. I LOVE dark stories, so I'm excited about this release. I think everyone has it in him/her to write dark stories and many readers enjoy them. You have nothing to worry about. :)

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    1. I hope you'll enjoy them, Chrys! My plan is to release the collection this summer.

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  9. Your fears are understandable. Do what feels right.

    Best wishes,
    Diane IWSG #99

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  10. I enjoy dark fiction. Dark and realistic. Not everyone likes the same thing and I often have a hard time finding new authors who write what I like to read.

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    1. I like dark and realistic, too - to a point. That's the thing, everyone's tolerance is different, everyone's "line" is different. It's one of the wonderful things about books and reading - there's usually something for everyone. :)

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  11. It is scary when you have something different coming out. If you lose some readers who like lighter stuff, the bright side is you'll find those who like the darker stuff. It evens out in the end. Good luck.

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    1. Excellent point about the readership evening out in the end!

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  12. In my experience, people LOVE the dark side. It surprised me, but when I shifted my blog from light to dark, I only lost one follower. I expected to lose a lot more.

    I think your book will be welcomed more than you imagine. Good luck!

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    1. I know I love the dark side, for the most part. But even I need a dose of light now and then. :)

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  13. Oh, the irony . . . and yet, I get it. I agree with emagineette - write what you love. Although I'm not a big horror reader, I have loved your stories and know that I will love your new collection. Your stories are thought-provoking and interesting.

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    1. Tyrean, thank you so much! For the most part, the horror that I enjoy writing/reading/watching is more psychological - "thought-provoking" - than gory.

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  14. The writer life is nothing if not ironic. I'm sure your readers will follow you. Once they're hooked, they have to see what you're offering next.

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  15. I wouldn't worry! If you lose readers for your darker stories, you'll only gain readers for the same reason :)

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  16. Yay for the new header!! It's perfect and I know that no readers will mock you when you release your collection. They will all just be anxious for your next release. :)

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  17. I remember someone asked Michael Crichton why he wasn't afraid to switch up genres. What he said really made me take stock of what I was doing. He said he didn't want to be known for one kind of story...but that he wrote amazing stories, whatever they were about. From dinosaurs to corporate espionage...if he wrote it, I'd buy it.

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    1. Good stories really do surpass genres and labels, don't they? :)

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  18. There's a lot of nerves for releases going around so you're in good company. :) I think it's exciting that you're going for it. Love the new blog header!

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    1. Thanks! Good to know I'm not alone, even though I don't want other people to be nervous. :)

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  19. As someone already said, you'll probably gain some new readers. Go ahead and embrace the darkness!

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    1. As long as the darkness doesn't embrace me back.... :o

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  20. I say go for it! You write what you write because you can't help it. So what if you lose a few readers - you could gain some new ones too! Besides, having range is great. It shows you're diversified and capable of conquering several types of landscapes. Go for it.

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    1. I would love to write humor and "nice" stories - and I have! - but my voice and my style really does lean toward the dark side.

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  21. I vary so much between light and dark fiction - I never actually know what the story is going to be until I've written it. They will still be written in your unique style, and that will probably carry your readers along with it. Good luck - I'm waiting to read it :-)

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  22. I worry about the third book in my series, which gets darker than the two that come before it. I wonder if I'll lose readers because of it. I guess we'll see when I get there.

    As for your writing, I like dark stuff. I'll be happy to read it. :)

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    1. I bet the readers of your series will keep reading, wanting to continue the story, see what happens to the characters etc no matter how dark it gets.

      I hope you'll enjoy it!

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  23. Yay for your new story collection!

    People have varying tastes when it comes to light and dark fiction. I can go for both as long as I like the writing style.

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    1. Thanks!

      The writing style and voice really does have a lot to do with why we read the stories we do.

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  24. I hope it all goes well! I know people post to me at times that they don't read horror, but I hope that they'll be there when I have other stuff out.

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  25. You have a lovely writing voice.
    I don't think you'll have a problem. There's a quote that says: 90% of what you worry about will never happen.
    Good luck with the collection!

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    1. Thank you, Michelle!

      I've never heard that saying before - will definitely try to remember it. :)

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  26. That is ironic! I'm sure your new collection will do just fine. Being nervous like that just shows you how important it is to you.

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    1. Thanks, Simon!

      I think "nervous" is pretty much my default emotion. :)

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  27. congratulations!
    and i think the point of writing dark & scary isn't to embrace it, i'd totally keep it at arm's length! jk!
    you'll keep most and make more for sure! good luck!

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  28. You won't lose me--I'll be there. And I suppose it's natural you'll lose some, but on the flip side you'll gain others. It probably happens with all authors if they go in a different direction. And really, you're not going in a totally different direction anyway. Just a bit darker. :)

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    1. I'm glad you'll still be hanging around, Suzi. :)

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