Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Circular Path

Sounds like a cult, doesn’t it? What I’m here to talk about today is the other part of my plan for my writing career. One of the remarkable things that many people picked up on and talked about with great reverence in Stephen King's sprawling catalogue of work was the inclusion of characters, events, and places carried over in different works. A prime example is the presence of Randall Flagg or other shadowy villains with his initials, R.F., in several of King’s books. The presence of little gems like that, akin to the Easter eggs on DVDs, is a special treat for the Constant Reader as King likes to call them. Just a bit of something for the fans who’ve read lots if not everything and a moment to reflect on the other thing being referenced.

That is one example of the sort of thing that I wish to inject into some of my work. It ties in with having a singular mythos or cosmology. Another thing that I intend to do is work with sequels. There do not seem to be a lot of sequel works in horror literature. You see it all the time in film, certainly, but not so much in books. Part of the desire to do this comes from watching a lot of the movie franchises, but I’ve gotten more of a sense of the power of continuing stories from watching television, in particular such great and unfolding stories in shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or Supernatural. You can carry a theme and parcel out pieces of something bigger than can be held in a single story and at the same time still keep it fresh and different.

Sequels also need not just be continuing stories either, they can be thematic sequels with a defining thread but otherwise little or no correlation. Though there were tying threads Stephen King again sort of exemplified this with his two eclipse stories, “Gerald’s Game” and “Dolores Claiborne”. While we’re on about King again, he also went ahead and did two books with an ensemble cast, meaning the cast of characters for both books was the same. This is just like an acting troupe performing two very different plays, except of course this was characters or roles and not performers, obviously. Then of course we have another favourite story style of mine, the serialised story. The benefit of them in horror is pretty obvious.

Mood: wistful.
Music: I Walk to My Own Song by Stratovarius and New Breed by Fear Factory

Stratovarius: Elements Part 2
Buy these at Amazon.ca
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Fear Factory: Demanufacture

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