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|Posted on October 24, 2019 at 5:45 PM||comments (0)|
People will tell you that the setting of a book is one of the most important details to have and they would be right. Authors want to make sure the setting is just right, the perfect place to tell their story. Readers want to experience a setting that is so vivid and extraordinary it's as though they are there themselves. However, one thing we don't really think much about are books that are set in one place and one place only. I'm not talking about one city, state, country, or world I'm talking about one sole building, house, warehouse, factory, etc.
Have you ever considered it? Have you ever thought that your favorite book may be set in one spot for the entire book? Don't worry I have plenty of examples but I'm sure you're wondering why. Why does it matter? Well, it does and it doesn't. It doesn't really matter if a book is set in one spot until it does. Before we go over the examples and reason why this matters lets state the obvious, if an author can write a great book solely in one place then they are not only talented but settings aren't an issue for them.
So why does it matter if a book is set in one spot? Well, have you ever noticed? If a book is truly mind-blowing and gripping then chances are you didn't even notice that it's set in one place. The truth is it doesn't matter because in all seriousness who cares? It doesn't matter if a book is set in one spot but the simple fact that there are many just shows you the dimensions of writing that the author took and setting while important was so great that it didn't need to be all over the place. Several of Stephen King's books are set in one place such as The Shining, The Green Mile, and Cujo just to name a few. Some other books set in one place are The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, Last Night At The Lobster, Life of Pi by Yann Martel, The Mezzanine by Nicholas Baker again just to name a few. I'm sure there are countless books with a lone setting but it just demonstrates that a great story can take place in either five, ten or just one as it doesn't matter.
From a horror and crime standpoint, I believe books set in one place are important and necessary. This is usually because a person or group of people are either trapped in a haunted building of some sort with the goal of trying to get out or they have been kidnapped or held against their will in a spot and must survive to escape. As readers, we love these books and it just goes to show you that one spot doesn't matter because what's happening inside that one spot is what truly matters. Horror books countlessly are written with people trapped in haunted houses, factories, cemeteries, asylums, hospitals, hotels, prisons, among many more. Crime books usually have people kidnapped, trapped or held up in small dirty basements, motel rooms, banks, houses again just to name a few. While these places are typical settings and lone settings it's the details around the place and what's set inside them that truly make the book great or not.
As an author, I too have set books in one sole place. My western horror was set in a town so that doesn't count but my crime thriller Opium Warfare was set in Shanghai and more particularly one specific district(doing research really helps!). Finally, The Wax Factory is solely based in the factory with only a flashback set in a college and the things the characters go through in the factory are pretty crazy. When I write about setting I don't think of how many places my book is set I just think of what I want it to be about, who I want in it to experience everything and sure I have a where but if I want to put branches off of that "where" then I will.
So what do I want you to take from this post? Well for one I'm sure you'll be a lot more observant of how many places a book is set in but in all honesty, I want you to just consider that if it's five or just one that a book will be great regardless. The setting will likely not be the reason if you don't like a book and if it is well...I don't know I guess maybe it does matter to some or that the author needs to work on their setting game.
|Posted on October 24, 2019 at 5:35 PM||comments (0)|
We are living in an age of decline. Places we go to shop and buy things are moving and even worse declaring bankruptcy and closing. All over the country shops are one day whistling dixie with sales and happy customers only to be closing up because they can't meet demands. Why is this? Just why exactly are our favorite places to shop and places we visit frequently closing so abruptly? There are several reasons for this but perhaps the worst part is when the place not only closes but doesn't become something new but stays empty and abandoned forever showing the sad decline of our businesses. If it were up to us as customers, as frequent buyers or even just as people we would have all our favorite shops stay open so we could go to them forever but unfortunately, this is not how the world works and more importantly not how business and growth works.
So why is there such a decline in stores and shops? The big one is adapting and reaching goals. Sure, it was easy to meet your goals financially ten years ago but when the cost and demands go up so do the prices and before you know it the stores have to close because they cannot meet these goals. Then there's the sad but true "out with the old and in with the new", where a place that was once flourishing in sales and people suddenly had to close up shop because a bigger and better place put it out of business. The biggest example of this is Wal-Mart which has seen a rapid increase in openings only to see small shops that have been around for 100 years forced to close because they can't compete with Wal-Mart.
Then, of course, there's the internet. These days people think to themselves all too often, "why would I go out and get something for that price when I can stay home and order it for half the price and have it on my doorstep in 5 days?" This has become the normal where Amazon is the retail and shopping king while places like Sears, K-Mart, Circuit City, and Toys R' Us don't meet expectations and are forced to close.
Call me old fashioned but I like walking into stores, walking and window shopping around malls and buying things. Sure I also shop online but I don't make it a priority I make it an option when I see fit. Not just stores and shops but also factories and businesses that have been around for years have closed because the demand for that product is no longer in need or even worse another type of product or material has made the other obsolete or no longer necessary.
To me, the worst reason a place goes under is that the technology/product has become old and there's a new type that is just way better than the original that has become expendable and sometimes useless. However, there is a solution to this that I believe many of these places don't do which is adapt. Sure, many of them don't see the end coming but for those that do, they should have or should adapt and make changes so they survive.
Yes, we like abandoned places but we love what we rely on more and if stores and shops do everything they can and keep up with current trends, styles, ways, adaptations and the latest way to make sales then there's no reason for them to fall under and close. I know this seems either too easy or easy for me to say as someone who doesn't own a multi-billion dollar business but these are the basic and true facts. If a company wants to avoid becoming an afterthought they need to keep up and adapt.
Finally, another way a place can prevent decline and closure and become left in the dust is to reinvent themselves. If there's a way or shred of a chance a place can still do what they do but reinvent themselves and make a profit then maybe there would be less abandoned stores and shops. In the novel, The Wax Factory, the place fell under because industrialism wiped the place need for wax out of existence. Yes, the place was abandoned for over a hundred years but when people remembered what it was and realized that wax was in use in more ways than it ever was back then the place re-opened, reemerged and reinvented themselves..at least that's the goal and idea the new curator has for the place.
Stores and shops will continue to decline because we as consumers are changing the way we buy and places are changing the way they buy. If old businesses or businesses that don't want to accept change don't get with it then they may become the latest Sears, Toys R' Us, and Circuit City, on the brink of decline and doom.
|Posted on October 18, 2019 at 11:55 PM||comments (0)|
You know his name very well. He is a man who lives on today after becoming immortal due to being the inspiration for one of horror's most notorious fiends. His name is Vlad Dracul but you know him as Vlad the Impaler. He was a fifteenth-century Wallachian prince born in the city of Sighisoara, what is now modern-day Romania. The word Dracul means devil and since his father was also Vlad Dracul he became known as Dracula meaning "son of the devil". Before literature turned him into what we now know as Dracula, Vlad was a prince but also a general who lead his Romanian army into battle to conquer and take back what was rightfully there's against the Turks. It is because of his status as a general and getting back his land that his own people consider him to be a hero and brave fighter who protected his country.
However, as history has come to make us all too aware, Vlad was not called The Impaler for nothing. Vlad didn't just want to defeat his enemies he wanted to consummate them into the ground, to humiliate and intimidate them in the most barbaric ways possible. His methods of torture are nothing short of bloodthirsty genius and satanic madman. His most well-known method of torture was to impale his victims on long sharpened wooden stakes, and many were impaled from their bottoms all the way up through their bodies so they endured death in the slowest and most agonizing way possible as people looked on in horror. It is said that he impaled over thousands including men, women, and children for intimidation and for the sport of war to make his point and those who resisted his Draconian ways.
Many of the people impaled were hung upside down as the stake went through their bodies and sometimes it would take them days or even weeks to die while impaled. When the Ottomans proclaimed war against Romania, Vlad fought them to restore order and so he could rightfully reclaim his land for his people. During this war, Vlad's first wife committed suicide by throwing herself from the tower of the castle where she well into the river. She proclaimed she would rather rot and have fish eat her then to be taken prisoner by the Turks. Despite having won many battles fate caught up with him and he was captured. He was killed in battle in 1476 near Bucharest where soldiers cut off his head and displayed it on a wooden stake.
Was Vlad the Impaler really a Satanist? A fiend who drank blood? A man who detested women by impaling them in the most sensitive areas? Maybe, maybe not but it is widely suggested that historians exaggerated many of his tales so it's hard to say what is true and what isn't. Either way, the whole idea that a man once existed that actually impaled others is a terrifying notion that intimidates people even still today. There is much I did not go into detail about Vlad's life but in a nutshell, he was a Prince and general who just fought for what he believed in and had an unorthodox way of torture and was over the top when it came to war. Some legends suggest that he drank the blood of his victims, that he covered himself in the blood of them before killing more. It's also said that he wore a crimson red suit of armor to not only intimidate but that when the blood splattered on him it simply mixed in with his suit so you couldn't tell.
This is where our beloved Count Dracula comes from. The story to which Bram Stoker got his inspiration. While Dracula is fictional, he is based on the real Vlad the Impaler. If you truly watch Dracula(1992) you'll realize that much of the story is taken from the real-life accounts of Vlad the Impaler. Whether or not he was a satanic madman is debatable but one thing is clear. Vlad the Impaler lives on through the ideas of many Romanians who look at him as a hero and revolutionary even still today. He lives on as an immortal vampire in literature as Count Dracula who lives in a creepy castle and longs to find his beloved.
In the 20's, a team went to exhume Vlad's body but when they opened the tomb all they saw laying in it were animal bones…
|Posted on October 18, 2019 at 6:55 PM||comments (0)|
Cannibalism. When we hear the word we immediately think of horror and complete terror and well we should. By no means am I going to glorify, defend or tell you cannibalism is necessary at times in order to survive because that’s not this type of post. What I am going to tell you is the horrors of cannibalism and what it is and why it is one of the most disturbing things imaginable. If this topic makes you upset, offends you or makes you sick then I suggest you read no further. No seriously, if this isn't for you then leave now, you’ve been warned. What is cannibalism? You know what it is, it’s when a human being eats another human being. It’s a thought that just creeps, sickens and turns our stomach inside out(no pun intended). In the world of horror every once in a while we come across a non-horror idea that we make scary but while cannibalism isn’t a horror topic it doesn’t need any adding of details because it’s already a real-life horror.
Why do people eat other people? Again, we know the answer to this, at least from a survival standpoint but then again from another viewpoint we don’t which is what I’m talking about. Why do people eat other people? Because they are sick, twisted individuals who for some reason to which we will never understand, enjoy the taste of human flesh. Wendigoes are creatures from Algonquin folklore who take over people's bodies and turn them into cannibals. Now while not every case of cannibalism has people pleading the Wendigo defense it should be brought to your attention that there is a mythical horror which deals with cannibalism.
Some people in this world are just sick in the head, deranged and twisted individuals who know no bounds. In the movie, “The Green Inferno”, a group of people get into a plane crash and the plane crashes in a remote jungle. The survivors are found by members of a tribe, taken prisoner and then cooked and eaten. As crazy of a movie as this is it also gives the notion that there could in fact, no there are probably are tribes of people who as part of their custom, eat other human beings. That may be all fine and dandy but it still doesn’t correct the fact that people are eating other people! (are you sick of hearing this sentence?). Then, of course, there’s the ole snowed in up in the cold mountains and your friend is dead so how do you survive? You eat them. Again, while these two practices are deemed “necessary” it still doesn’t make it okay and it doesn’t justify the fact that people should eat other people.
Jeffrey Dahmer, the world’s most notorious cannibal. I don’t know about you but I’m not a psychologist and if I was I don’t think I’d want to really see the results of this man’s brain. Dahmer like many serial killers has unfortunately been glorified by media and Hollywood with countless books and movies on him. Dahmer killed several men and ate them. He stored their body parts in freezers and refrigerators and at one point he had a human head in his frig. Dahmer enjoyed what he did but at the end when he was caught he regretted his actions but again apologize all you want it doesn’t justify the horrific action of consuming another human being.
I once watched a murder investigation show about a man in Canada who lived alone on a farm and never adventured out but when he did he picked up prostitutes and somewhere down the line he developed the idea of killing them and then eating them. When he was finally caught police and FBI found over two dozen bodies buried on his property. I once saw another similar show but it was a bit more disturbing about two cannibals who became friends and one of them became ill and was going to die so he asked his friend to eat him after he died and to document it and explain what it was like. There were way more disturbing parts to it but because I think you’re already grossed out enough as it is, I’ll leave it at that.
So what are your thoughts on Cannibalism? Do you think it’s necessary when you're stranded out in the cold with nothing to eat and it’s the only way to survive? Do you think there are communities of people out there in other countries or in small remote islands who eat other people as part of their customs and religion? Or are you like me? Someone who thinks of the word cannibalism and just gets chills even thinking of the meaning of the word. To know that there’s Jeffrey Dahmer’s of this world who wished to destroy us as human beings by dissecting us like insects and then consuming us. I hope you're like me because cannibalism is truly one of the most horrific things in this world and one of the most messed up things that can happen to us as human beings.
|Posted on October 17, 2019 at 4:25 PM||comments (0)|
“Listen to them, the children of the night, what music they make!” -Count Dracula from Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula
When we hear the word vampire we immediately think of two things. One, an immortal creature that longs for blood and two, the essential star vampire Dracula, the vampire who other vampires long to be. In a nutshell, we think of vampires as creatures and supernatural beings with extraordinary powers who we love to read about and watch on television. The tale of the vampire has been told over the years in so many ways from Bram Stoker’s classic Dracula all the way to Stephanie Meyer’s Twlight(with lots and lots of vampire tales in between).
The one thing to note and consider here however is our perception of the vampire and how it is that we now glamorize something that simply shouldn’t be glamorized. Why is it that we don’t fear vampires? Where exactly did we go wrong and why did this change? Well, technically Dracula is a romance novel just like Die Hard is a Christmas movie but I’ll save that discussion for another day. The way the media and authors have portrayed vampires usually runs the same...until now.
For every Dracula story and film there’s always the same premise, the same idea; that Dracula is a vampire who wants his beloved back and stalks Mina because he longs for her while causing havoc around him. Underworld tells of the classic vampires versus werewolves battle which while fun to watch is your typical beast A very beast B fighting for supremacy of who’s the best of the best. Then you have your Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice which shows the flamboyant and sometimes over the top vampire Lestat and his many adventures. Then of course there’s the love and sex appeal we have given the vampire, the glamorization I referred to in the beginning. I’m not sure of the very book or film that did this but it’s taken us to now, we have this affection and sex appeal for the vampire that just doesn’t make sense yet we are used to it because it’s become the normal.
I myself have found a new approach to the vampire, one that I have not really come across in any other story or portrayal. In my series, Vampires, I talk about how vampires should be feared in the first poem but then I tell of how vampires have become depressed and almost suicidal and longing for death because no one fears them anymore. It goes into detail about how many just wish to walk into the sun or wish to get stabbed in the heart. The most recent poem in the series shows how the vampires are tired of feeling bad for themselves and make you remember who they are and just why they should be feared.
At first, when I wrote about the vampires being depressed and suicidal it wasn’t my intention at all as I just wrote what came to me at the time. From there it took on a more interesting idea for me so I expanded on it. I felt it was a different approach to the vampire lore and there’s nothing sexy or glittery about them. The series is up to about six or seven(yes I’m not sure how many I’ve written at this point) but with the most recent being the fact that they want to strike fear into people again it will be interesting to see if I could keep it going but so far nothing is in the works of another poem in the series. Vampires can be portrayed in many different ways and even as suicidal depressed immortals who are just so over life.
If you’d like to know more about my series vampires scroll to the bottom of the page and subscribe to my e-mail list for a surprise.
|Posted on October 5, 2019 at 11:30 PM||comments (0)|
Escape Rooms. They’ve become quite popular lately and chances are you’ve been to one or at least heard of them. They are theme attractions set up in a space that allow you to adventure on your own or with a group. The objective is to try and escape from the room using clues throughout the theme room. I myself have not been to one but I certainly want to as they seem like a lot of fun. These escape rooms are just for fun which goes to ask, how would you feel if you were really stuck in a room for real and the only way to escape was to find clues in the room? I wonder if anyone ever truly thinks about being in such a situation other than when they attend escape rooms, like do you ever just think what if I were trapped in a room and had to fight to get out? Well we are going to explore this notion because I believe it to be an underrated thought because we don’t know what we got till it’s gone.
Sometimes we find ourselves in situations that are straight out of movies or television but yet that very thought doesn’t come to our minds just the fact that something crazy is happening. There happens to be a movie called Escape Room where a group of people have to work together to survive but only one can survive. There’s also many movies that have the whole escaping and survival premise but what if this happened in real life what would you do?
The thought should scare you because right now you think you have it good and I’m not trying to scare you by any means but you never know if the next day you may find yourself trapped in a room. Trapped in a room and you need to find a way to escape, yes it seems like a crazy thought but anything is possible, right? With that being said you should remember that if this were to happen you probably wouldn’t know what to do until you were in such a situation.
If you have seen one of the many escape room or survival movies then you already know what not to do. By no means should you overreact, try to take out others in the room, threaten whoever’s holding you there, don’t go there and don’t be that person. The first thing to know is that if you found yourself into a strange situation then believe that you can find yourself out of one too. Now you may be thinking just why am I wasting time talking to you about something that may never happen? Well, lets just say that if by some crazy chance it does you’ll think of me and remember this article. If you’re adventurous and have been in a escape room or have seen any of the countless movies then you also have a general idea of how to get out of one. Could I escape one? Of course I’d like to think yes, I could but I’m likely just like you and until I’m in such a situation I’m merely all talk.
In my novel, The Wax Factory, a group of people are given a tour of an old factory. The deeper into the factory they go the more they realize that their lives are not only in danger but they need to try and escape the place. No I’m not spoiling anything that’s the general plot of the book but also the reason I bring up this topic. Sure its fiction but again it’s a group of people who think they are touring a building only to find out over time that they can’t leave just yet and are being held against their will. This is what I’m talking about, this is the escape scenario I’m referring to. Have Dmitri and his friends been to escape rooms? I don’t know I didn’t think to write that about them so I guess the answer to that is no. Don’t be like my characters, if you can go to an escape room I suggest you do it because you never know when your skills for being in one maybe come in handy. Perhaps like Dmitri, you’ll find yourself in an old factory and have to escape. Do you think you could escape a real escape room or place that you’re being held captive? For your sake I hope so, for your sake I truly hope so.
|Posted on September 27, 2019 at 8:20 PM||comments (0)|
If you’re into horror then chances are it doesn’t matter if it’s real or fabricated horror you love it regardless. However, there is a big difference between going to a place expecting to get scared from a comical theatrical sense and going to a haunted house where people were murdered and the killer still haunts the house. It goes without saying that real horror is different and far more scary than any haunted house or theme park. Let’s not let that spoil this article in fact let’s take a look at examples of both and look into why some of us can’t get enough of either.
All haunted attractions are based off of real horror, things we perceive to represent real horror and meant to scare us. These places whether it’s in a house, church(I have attended a haunted attraction in a church before), field, warehouse or wherever they are, you go there expecting to be scared and you know you will be. When you go to a real known place with paranormal activity you don’t know whether or not you’ll get scared and that triggers a whole different feeling inside you.
Real haunted horror are places like the Amityville House, The Winchester House, The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, Bobby Mackey’s, Gettysburg, Eastern State Penitentiary, The Trans-Alleghany Lunatic Asylum, and many more. These are places where horrific things took place and all have haunted pasts that still continue to this day. These places are only some of the most famous but there’s many more. If the walls in these places could talk they’d have some of the most gruesome and disturbing ghost stories to tell and that’s putting it lightly. Real hauntings and real horror are what some of us think we want to see for ourselves to see if we can encounter or experience anything. Sure it seems like a good idea until we realize we bit off more than we can chew..
Haunted Horror Attractions are the places we go every year in October. Haunted Houses, Haunted Factories, Haunted Hayrides, Corn Mazes, you name it. These places are designed to scare us and we go there in anticipation in hopes of being scared. For some it’s all about the scare, the adventure and fun. When you go to these places you’re likely to feel something but at the end of the night you know that it’s all done in fun and that none of it’s real. Whether it’s a scary clown, cosmic alien, creepy lumberjack with a chainsaw or whatever you may see in these places these are characters created to scare you and you let them. These haunted attractions are scary fun and quite a change from the real haunted horrors we hope to encounter when entering a real place filled with paranormal activity.
Now of course real horrific places have inspired movies and television shows so that we as horror fans can ingest it easier. Real horror is seen countless times in Hollywood and entertainment but it’s not watered down but changed so that it’s just like a haunted attraction, to be anticipated and enjoyed in a theatrical sense. This however doesn’t always work and sometimes it just makes people want to go to the real place and before you know it they are traumatized and wishing they never watched the movie to begin with. I am exaggerating a bit but I’m sure it’s happened just like I’m sure some haunted attractions have tried to hold their haunted theme parks at real known haunted places. Can you imagine the type of horror you would get then? The best of both worlds until you couldn’t distinguish between what’s real and what’s not. Perhaps it’s best we keep our haunted attractions separate from the real horrors of the world because after all we don’t want to create any more real life haunted horrors...
|Posted on September 27, 2019 at 8:10 PM||comments (0)|
Haunted houses, mansions, asylums, and cemeteries. When it comes to haunted we genuinely think of these four places but let's not forget about factories and warehouses. These two places, in my opinion, could be even more haunted then the four listed above. Before I get into why I believe this to be so let’s first delve into why factories and warehouses are creepy. From an outside perspective, most factories and warehouses are big in stature and are made from brick and concrete so they give off a menacing look because they have to store such big things within them.
Have you ever looked at a giant factory building during a dark gloomy day? Chances are if you have you get the same feeling I do, you get creeped out! So why do I feel factories and warehouses are more haunted than houses, mansions or even asylums and cemeteries? Well for one they were built hundreds of years ago and likely had hundreds of workers inside and if you account for accidents that may have happened well you have a few dozen or so hauntings right there.
Factories and warehouses are made for businesses and back in the day when industrialism came along many of them were built all over the world especially right here in the United States. If you factor that in plus consider the fact that there were hundreds of people, accidents bound to happen and not to mention horrific deaths possibly occurring because of the equipment in these factories you could easily get hauntings from these places today. Of course not every factory or warehouse is haunted but I’m sure if a poll were taken it would show a great deal of them could have paranormal activity. Also, factories and warehouses have that natural rustic, man-made, rugged look to them which doesn’t help matters when it comes to the creepy factor.
There are so many reasons factories and warehouses could be haunted just like houses, mansions, asylums, and cemeteries but there’s also another overlooked reason that could be the case. Many warehouses over the years have been used as slaughterhouses, places where people butcher animals and maybe more. They have also been known to be used as headquarters for criminals and even places where criminals and the mafia do business by killing people within them. This could also be a reason that places that still stand now are not only creepy on the outside but scary and haunted on the inside due to the horrible history that took place.
Factories and warehouses are where work is meant to be done and maybe that’s just it. Perhaps people who once worked there long ago haunt the place not to scare people but because it’s all they knew, it’s what made them happy, to go to work every day and have a purpose. Perhaps they haunt the place because they still feel there’s work to be done or they are on a continuous loop as a residual haunting repeating an action in their once everyday working life. If you find yourself in a creepy factory or warehouse be on alert but also remember you may not have to be afraid because yes the place may be haunted but those who still roam the building are not there to harm or haunt you or maybe they are…
|Posted on September 20, 2019 at 8:20 PM||comments (1)|
"You've seen them. Little towns, tucked away far from the main roads. You've seen them, but have you thought about them? What do the people in these places do? Why do they stay?" -Rod Serling's opening narration in "The Twilight Zone" episode, "Valley of the Shadow"
Fictional towns. We read about and see them in countless movies and television shows. Like the quote above that asks about small towns can be also asked about fictional towns. Have you ever thought about them? Why do they exist? Are the people there just like you and me? If you're like me then you ask these things and you wonder and perhaps also like me you've created your very own fictional town. Whatever the reason maybe I want to take a closer look into fictional towns, why they were created, their backstories if they have any and how real they are compared to real towns and cities. Also, I'll delve into where these fictional places supposedly are because after all they may be fictional but where they are may just be close to where you live...
From Gotham City to Castle Rock, from Wayward Pines to Salem's Lot; these are just some of the most famous fictional towns in which we are familiar with and know very well. But why exactly do fictional towns exist? Why are they created? Well, there are a couple of simple reasons for this. The first reason is that since the story that's being told is fictional and everyone in it is as well then it's only fitting that the place where everyone resides and everything happens is fictional too.
Another reason may be simply that the author wanted to create their own fictional town. I suspect this to be the reason Stephen King created his many towns in Maine while also wanting to show people where he is from. Another reason may be that you don't want to create a fictional story in a real town because it may cause rumors and people to think that what happens in the story happens in the real town that it takes place in. Needless to say, it's way easier for an author to create a fictional town and it also gets our imaginations going on what the towns would look like and if they differ from ours.
The people we come to know in these fictional towns usually serve as our main characters or heroes. As readers, we are either introduced to a whole group of townspeople who make up the town or we get a main character or hero whose duty is to protect the town or represent it. Obviously, since fictional characters need a place to stay and reside they reside in fictional towns. This is not always the case but in most cases it is. It's not done not out of the fact that it has to be this way but it's easier this way and really makes you wonder not only about the people but about the town and the details the author goes through to tell you about it.
Some fictional towns have elaborately detailed backstories such as Castle Rock, which Stephen King has been writing about and adding to for years. Other cities are merely mentioned in books or shows and only serve as vessels to contain the story and characters. I like to think that the fictional towns with detailed backstories are the type of towns that create great stories and tales. To bring up King again, he actually uses the same towns for several of his stories which are not only creative but a real fun idea and good way to get people interested in your works. Many fictional towns while the imagination of the author can also have real-life attributes from real cities and towns that the author themselves either live in or have been to at one time. Adding a bit of realism into a fictional town is a good way to give it substance and make a reader relate the next time they adventure into a creepy small town or even a happy place like Mayberry.
Stephen King places his fictional towns in Maine and even gives them actual spots on a map if you were ever so deeply inclined to check them out. Some authors actually describe the county or place a fictional town on a map so you could almost see it if you were to look on one. Again this is a fun vivid effect(at least I think so) and one that connects a fictional town to the realism of a real town. Now if you read science fiction then chances are not only is the town fictional but so is the planet and galaxy which is going way beyond and creating a whole world. Settings for fictional towns can also be created if the town is based on two real-life cities(example: my fictional town of Toomswood in A Bloody Bloody Mess in the Wild Wild West is based on Toomsuba, Mississippi and Riverwood, Alabama).
If fictional towns teach us anything it's that they can be as real as any town we ourselves live in just like the people who live in them. Some go into details, some don't. Some are created because it's only natural and some because it's better to leave eerie and creepiness out of a real town and scare the people who live there. I wanted to take a deep look into fictional towns because it always made me curious as to why they were created and because of my own creative fictional town of Craven Hollow, New York which is the setting for The Wax Factory series. Fictional towns can be big or small, have a lot said about them or nothing said about them at all.
"You've seen them. Little towns, tucked away far from the main roads. You've seen them, but have you thought about them? Have you wondered what the people do in such places, why they stay?"
|Posted on September 20, 2019 at 8:05 PM||comments (0)|
Hades. In ancient Greek mythology, he is the god of the dead and the king of the underworld. Now I could give you a rundown of who he was and who he's connected to in Greek mythology but that's not what this piece is about. I want to give you the gruesome side of Hades, the reason he is the god of the dead and king of the underworld. So let's skip the history textbook descriptions and eighth-grade project portrayals and get to the good stuff, shall we?
History's depiction of Hades is actually sad for horror fans and those who consider death as evil because Hades wasn't depicted as evil but was well-mannered and reserved. However, it's popular culture and Hollywood's idea of Hades that make him far more sinister than the Greeks ever did. The only reason the Greeks feared Hades was because he is the keeper of death so naturally the Greeks saw him as evil and feared death so they feared him. Popular culture portrays Hades as a cold ruthless demeaning bastard who breathes fire and brimstone and burns people alive till they join him in the afterlife. He's considered pure evil and a villain due to his association with death. So in a way, we took the Greek's fear of him and took it steps further and turned him into a more fearful foe.
So how did Hades become such a villain and why did we as a society do it? Well, the how is simple, all it takes is one person to have written or shown him as such and from then on it took off like wildfire. As for the why well again Hades represents death so naturally like the Greeks we see death as evil, as something we don't look forward to so it's only fitting that we add more to an already gloomy figure to make him eviler. Popular culture has turned him into a dark being that people not only fear but will bring harm to them, almost as if he were the devil himself. However, in Egyptian myth their God of the underworld was Anubis also the preparer of the dead but there's no real horror or villainous spin to Anubis yet there is with Hades, this is a better question to ask why too. We tend to enjoy Greek mythology so it's again only fitting that we made Hades bad and Hercules good and the man that takes him down.
To elaborate a bit further about popular culture turning Hades into a fearsome being of death I once wrote two poems about Hades in my horror poetry books, The Macabre Masterpiece, and The Macabre Masterpiece: Repressed Carnage. The first poem tells of Hade's warning people about how he's not mentally stable and if they defy him they will face the consequences. The second poem is Hades explaining how he has embarrassed, tortured and killed people after they ignored his warning from the first poem. The two poems are a clear example of our depiction of Hades as an evil figure however these two poems go a bit beyond that and make Hades sounds like a soulless psychopathic killer. As you take a closer look at Hades you realize the truth. Hades wasn't evil, we are for making him evil and if that is true then what does that say about us?