Author's Notes on the Last Story

While I do reserve some space before the stories on my blog for comments, I tend to steer away from using that space to comment or critique my work. And believe me, I do plenty of self-critiquing. But I like to stay quiet about it until after people have read it. This is for two reasons.

First off, I don't want to color anyone's opinion of my work with my own opinion of it. If I post a story and preclude it with, "This piece is kind of meh," then some of my kind readers are likely to respond with, "Oh, no, it's not! It's far better than anything I could come up with!"* while other readers are going to find themselves nitpicking for "meh." Likewise, if I post that I'm really happy with a piece I've done, some people are going to pat me on the head when I don't deserve head-pats, and others are going to dedicate themselves to looking for flaws. But I want people to read my stuff on its own merit, without any worry of pre-conceived thoughts on how they should approach it.

The second reason is because I want to make sure I can accurately gauge my own work myself. As demonstrated above, posting my opinions of my own work prior to allowing people to read it skews the feedback I get, which is ultimately unhelpful when I'm trying to get a feel for how other people are interacting with my story. However, if I don't have a good gauge of my own talents, even the best feedback isn't necessarily going to help me fix the flaws. So I try to stay on top of that.

And while this blog itself stays pretty quiet in the comments section, I do receive feedback via other sources fairly frequently.

So... this last story.

True horror is one of those genres that I never quite manage to get into. I find many horror movies to be TERRIBLY cheesy, even if they are considered good by market standards or manage to successfully creep me out for the next few days. So, if I want to get into horror, it has to be mixed with something else such that the horror is coincidental to the situation rather than the point of the story. For instance, the Alien franchise may be technically a monster movie, but much of it is wrapped in a story of mystery, action, and space exploration that just happens to go terribly wrong because xenomorphs are terrifying by human standards. (I'm sure they find each other to be somewhat charming.) Every time a movie in the franchise succumbs to going, "BLARGH!!! WE ARE ALIENS FEAR US!!!" I find myself raising an eyebrow and yawning.

Of course, this opinion of horror comes up in my writing. Neither of the two "horror stories" I did last year are truly horrifying in my opinion, but instead they simply have strong dark undercurrents. But if someone were to ask me what the best horror story is currently on this blog, I'd probably direct them to the one I labeled "dark fantasy."

Such is my relationship with horror.

So, when I sat down to write this last story, which was always intended to be a more pure form of horror, I had to figure out how to approach it. And I decided the premise reminded me of nothing so much as a plot to one of those terrible horror movies of the late 90's that is built with a target audience aged 12-17. And so that's what I tried to write.

Of course, most of my audience is decidedly not aged 12-17. Which means I kind of expect most of them to react with abject horror not at the premise of the story so much as at the horrible text speak that a few of the characters use. And, based on the feedback I'm getting, that's prettymuch exactly how you guys are reacting. As for overall liking or disliking the story... well, YMMV, as they say. Though I imagine it correlate how much you like terrible horror movies from the late 90's.

*I am strongly of the opinion that some of the least helpful feedback anyone can provide on a work of art is, "It's better than anything I could do," and secretly harbor desires to smack people when they tell me this, even if it's true.

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