Tag Archives: writing


Writing Horror Novels by Joe Hill

I stumbled across a Joe Hill book (NOS4A2)  not that long ago and had no clue who the man was but the description of the story hooked me and I had to give it a try. About a third of the way through the story I turned to my wife and said “Boy this guy sounds like Stephen King based on his style. I wonder if it’s a pseudonym for King?”

Boy did I have egg on my face when after a few minutes on Google (and really if you want to find out facts doesn’t the big G provide data within seconds? Why are people still sharing patently false things? But that’s another post) I found out that Joe is actually the son of Mr. King. His birth name is Joseph Hillstrom King . Cool beans, now the similarity of writing styles makes sense. If you grow up around someone you’re going to internalize some of they style in speech, writing and other style.

Joe is no way a carbon copy of his dad, he has his own voice but the influence is there. And boy howdy is he good.

Everyone can learn something new no matter what their level of knowledge. I’m always learning even about the things I’m already rather expert in (not writing yet, I’m still working on that).

I saw this video on YouTube by Joe talking about writing a horror novel and it was a really enjoyable video. Very good insights from him. Give it a view if you have interest in writing horror or really anything that can draw from some of the lessons of horror regarding building dread, tension etc.


First pass of edits on Fanatic’s Bane are DONE

Wow, what can I say, the first pass through the manuscript for Fanatic’s Bane is done.

Concept cover
Concept cover

That was a LOT of work but I’ve cleaned up obvious mistakes, changed the tense and voice to the way I want it and have found a whole lot of areas where I want to expand, clarify or truncate work to make the story tighter.

I’ve also changed my mind on some of the plot flow as I edited. Have to rewrite some sections to provide more clues but not in a ham-fisted manner such as they were in the first draft.

I was very proud of myself by changing my mind and not killing off a minor character within 2 pages of introducing him. I saw his death in draft 1 and thought “hey I went to all the trouble of describing this guy he shouldn’t just be killed out of hand” so I changed his death to a wounding. He got to have a much more interesting scene with my hero much later thanks to this.  I’m not saying I saved his life, just saved it in the early chapter :)

This will be the first novel in the Spacefarer universe. I’ve lived in this universe in my head since the 1980s when I started running it as the setting for a role playing game with friends. So many adventures have happened there that it made perfect sense to translate it into novel form.

Malbane – a Free Agent – is sort of a freelance troubleshooter cum secret agent who fixes those problems that fall between the cracks of the system in a star spanning civilization. She begins her fight against her greatest foe in this book. I see at least 2 books to tell this specific story, of which Fanatic’s Bane is the first. How many more will have Malbane and her crew I do not know, I guess it will depend on their reception by the public.

Keep your eye on this site or my Facebook or Twitter streams to see when the novel is complete and published.


Chekhov’s Gun

Chekhov's Gun


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Remove everything that has no relevance to the story.

If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off.

If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there.
— Anton Chekhov