Posted August 24, 2010on:
When I started writing St. Martin’s Moon I had originally envisioned it as a mystery with horror overtones. It’s about werewolves, after all. The first line, the one I intended to write, was “Marquand hated turnover.” Then I decided to make it a brighter line, which was my downfall. Had I really wanted it to be a horror story I would have stuck with the original. My instincts don’t go to horror. I do mainly characters, and I realize my characters mainly through dialog. Light witty banter. Discussion, explanation, exposition, diatribe. Horror is a product of setting, with dark and unpleasant acts committed in darkness. Not my thing, I thought.
I recently got several books of short stories, all because they had stories by Nina Kiriki Hoffman in them. I was hoping to find another Chapel Hollow story but so far I just have the 3 novels ond one short story. I still hope she’ll do more with Carroll. Anyway, I’m reading these books, and one of them is quite a varied collection. 100 Ghastly Little Ghost Stories has quite a few that are not ghastly at all. (In fact there are a number that are very nice, with cheerful HEAs and everything. This pleases me no end, since I can do cheerful HEAs.)
Several of the stories have very little dialog. This cheers me up because I do have one little story I was working on that I shelved when I realized there was no realistic way to put any dialog into it. I was of the opinion that all stories had to have dialog. By reading quite a few of these stories in a row I am broadening my horizons, expanding my arsenal, allowing myself to realize that the box I was thinking inside of was my own box.
This is one of the benefits of being a bookseller instead of just an author. I actually read most of the books my publisher produces, mysteries and romances and the occasional horror. I like Echelon stories, because they are mostly character-driven, which allows me to enjoy mysteries and such even though the type is not my favorite. I think much of St. Martin’s Moon is a result of this, me getting away from the fantasy a little bit, although ghosts and werewolves are still a little close. Now I’m getting even further away, by reading a collection, some of which are character-driven, dialog-rich, and some of which are not. I mostly didn’t read horror because so much of what I found was either depressing or setting-heavy, but here I had examples of stories that weren’t either.
As soon as I get finished with Noisemaker, my contest story, I’ll get back to work on Yesternight and see if I can creep myself out a little bit. In a good way.
Do you know of any horror stories that are completely dialog-free?