Horror Protagonists

Horror is fortunate as a genre in that there can be a very wide scope of protagonists. The kind of protagonist you pick will have a serious impact on the feel of your story, so give it serious thought.

Type #1 The Victim

Sadistic horror writers (like me obviously) can delight in putting a good person through the wringer. The victim is someone who usually doesn’t deserve it, goes through hell, and typically doesn’t survive. You hook the readers by letting this character suffer, making them sympathetic and mercilessly turning the screws on them. They will spend most the story simply trying to escape while being terrorised.

An example in my own writing: the lost tour group in the caverns who are attacked by a giant centipede in Vermin Anthology.

Type #2 Pushed Too Far

This is usually a normal person who encounters evil- and decides to fight back. They can die in the futile action or come out on top, but they have had enough. I tend to think of the kids in The Nightmare on Elm Street series, who formulate complex plans to try and get back at Freddy, such as pulling him out the dream world and killing him.

An example in my own writing: The cast of North Sea Nightmare. At first, they are terrified, helpless, but then they fight back, using pipes, flare guns, whatever they can get their hands on.

Type #3 Kick Ass

This character goes looking for evil- and then blows it away. Often surrounding characters die in droves, but this character will survive, vanquishing evil.

Think Ash Williams from Evil Dead or Buffy from Buffy The Vampire Slayer. This kind of lead can be difficult to write and still keep with the horror vibe, normally someone who is powerful isn’t afraid and therefore we don’t feel fear for them.

Example in my own writing: The sewer worker in Vermin Anthology who goes in to kill the monstrous rat king. He wasn’t scared but I made his assistant terrified, so the fear was created that way.

Type #4 Brought It On Themselves

Ah, my favourite and the most recurring in my own fiction (clearly given my own fire and brimstone version of karma). This is someone who is similar to The Victim but with one important difference, they are in this position because of themselves. As such, this creates a different vibe. When the victim suffers, you think “that poor person”, whereas the brought-it-on-themselves character’s suffering can be cathartic, and you think “yeah, you deserve it”.

An Example in my own writing: Bad Credit, when our protagonist uses a cursed card, refuses to reign in his spending and ends up facing an otherworldly debt collector.

 

There are plenty of other types but these are the ones I see come up the most.

When horror hits home

I noticed a new horror movie had been added on Netflix, The Vault. Always a surprise when a movie like that pops up I have no idea about, so I decided to give it a go. It’s about a bunch of bank robbers who end up going down into the haunted vault, there is some gore but the movie isn’t dripping in blood, it’s more about a sense of unease.

The film as a whole wasn’t really that scary, but it did manage to make me feel uncomfortable at points. Why?

In addition to writing, I work in a bank, so the setting of The Vault really jumped out at me.

The small staff room in the back, the tellers out front, the manager and deputy manager offices, it all felt exactly like where I work. The sorts of queries the customers were coming in with, the very dignified choice in the furniture that stresses professionalism, the friendly but gruff security guards.

I don’t think I had ever seen that before, a horror film set in a bank that looked so similar to my own, I didn’t know what to make of it. I can tell you though that when the criminals start rounding people up, my heart was hammering in my chest.

When a piece of media connects with you, when you can see yourself there, it can be much more powerful than it otherwise would be. A story set aboard a crumbling space station can still be engaging and scary but actually seeing the place I work everyday being the setting for a brutal crime made me actually feel quite uncomfortable- which is good! A story should provoke a response, whether it’s amusement, sadness, excitement or dread.

If you really are trying to hammer that feeling home, I would suggest set it in a place that people will recognise. A small town’s run-down mall or maybe a small rented student flat. A setting can hook onto people and be an effective tool, use it.

Gore in horror- what a bloody mess!

“That movie would have been good if not for all that sickening gore!”

“Didn’t feel like a horror movie, not a drop of blood, pretty weak.”

Two common viewpoints, both legitimate, but I do have my own opinion on the matter. I recently watched The Belko Experiment, a superb movie. One thing it is panned for though is the gore was perhaps more than most casual audiences were prepared for. Claims that it was torture porn or a blood drenched mess. Fair enough, not for everyone, I enjoyed it though and if the gore wasn’t there, I wouldn’t have.

More than any other genre, horror needs a legitimate threat that the protagonist can suffer a gruesome fate. It wouldn’t be a great escapist fantasy if during a Schwarzenegger movie, there was a constant danger of Arnold dying gruesomely. We know the uniformed goons are there to die in their dozens failing to stop him, that genre doesn’t really want you to think there is a horrible demise up ahead.

I think most successful horror needs the danger of not just death but a horrible one. It is what the genre does best.

Think of The Thing, the characters die painfully, it’s not a good way to go at all. The fear comes from that. Likewise, for Hostel, Saw, It and so many others.

You don’t need to show it extensively in every scene per se, not every movie has to be Saw, but showing that characters can die horribly means the audience and readers are dreading that will happen to the character. You can have it hovering over your characters, the constant dread building, will you bring it crashing down? In It, the first boy Georgie gets his arm brutally ripped off and dies screaming. Then when It confronts the other kids, we know this isn’t a fade to black or easy escape type of situation, there is the very real danger it is going to happen. The Losers all emerge from the sewers okay having defeated It but that dread was palpable.

My novels frequently use this, in Bad Credit, we see the golem Mr Rox brutally break a man’s neck, almost turning his head 180 degrees. That means when the protagonist next faces him, the readers know what Mr Rox is capable of because such a horrible death is in the air.

If you don’t like gore in your horror, fair enough, but for me it is an essential component.

Horror and New Year

Christmas horror, Easter horror, Valentines day horror, you name it, there is no shortage of horror to coincide with the holiday seasons.

Well…except New Year.

There is a shocking lack of New Years horror stories, one of the only films I can think of is End of Days (a horror/action film that sees a cop trying to stop a Satanic ceremony on New Years that will usher in an era of darkness). It seems strange I can easily find about five Easter horror films but none at New Year.

There are two ways I can see a good horror story for New Year.

  • Hope is shattered

New Year is a time of hope and a sadistic horror writer or film director can invert that. Let the characters be excited about change, maybe they are going to be embarking on a new career or a new family life, they could be about to achieve something great.

Then it all goes horribly wrong. The hope turns sour, is poisoned.

Eg: At a holiday resort on a tropical island, a gang of friends are all excited life seems to be on track for them. New relationships, jobs, they are walking on air. They don’t know a disgruntled local shaman, furious at the tourist hotspot thrown up over his sacred grove, has summoned a demon which soon turns the resort into a massacre.

  • You can’t start anew

New Year, New Me! Haha despite my love of all things dark and sinister, I actually enjoy that optimism that comes with New Year. Of course, we can’t let out characters get away with that. Characters desperate for a new year and new start should be unable to do so, being dragged into their old lives, kicking and screaming.

Eg: Having escaped an evil cult in his teens, our character is ready to ring in the new bells with their partner and kids, who have no idea about his messed-up past. However, the cult (long thought wiped out) doesn’t want to let any stray members survive and the character faces an all-out assault on New Year’s Day.

Just a few ideas but New Year and horror could make a powerful combination.

***

I hope you all have a great new year!

Enjoy the lighter side

My stories deal with some pretty horrific things. A monstrous debt collector, an oil rig besieged by a monster, insane aliens attacking a rock concert. I take a lot of pleasure in that, it is why I write what I do. I like to take my readers on a horrific journey where we follow the doomed souls of the tales to their ultimate conclusion.

My own interests in horror can make for grim reading, although I do enjoy it. It’s what I am automatically drawn to whether I wanted to be or not.

Book of Dust, a fantasy epic that is released to massive praise…eh, I might pick it up at one point, why not.

Ooo, a new Clive Barker book!? I’m getting that!

Ditto on other forms of entertainment.

First person shooter with all the best graphics and a high stake, sci fi plot. Eh, might get it if it goes on sale. A scroll along game about a grim journey through insanity, awesome!

It is my default setting to be drawn to dark and disturbing things, always has been, it finds its way into my writing, my dungeons and dragons campaigns, my hobbies.

But I do love this time of year as well. I like to dabble in the opposite, the same person who can watch a The Hills Have Eyes marathon gleefully just binged in horrendously cheesy Netflix Christmas movies. It is possible to like the darker side of life while still taking time to indulge in the lighter time of the year.

So for a brief time I set aside the gruesome horror, break out the Advocat, and fully throw myself into the season.

Full Bodied Wine: Chapter One

My fifth novel is about a cursed wine yard, where university students looking for some quick cash in hand work find themselves trapped. Enjoy a rough copy of the first chapter for free. A little Christmas present from me to you!


 

How far are we willing to go for success? We have all asked ourselves that at one point, if you were against the wall, your dream slipping through your fingers, what depths would you sink to in order to save it. You might have a line you won’t cross. Other people don’t.

Chapter One

Failed Harvest

Malc felt his stomach in knots as he studied the glass of wine on the table.

This should be relaxing, sitting down to a glass of red. Maybe if it wasn’t the wine that was associated with his name, it would be a more enjoyable experience. Malc knew all too well that his life depended on this very glass. Worst of all, not just his own life, the life of his wife and two sons.

So much was riding on this simple red fluid.

Sweat was already beading on his forehead. He went to hold the glass, a slight tremor in his hand.

“Here we go,” he said with forced enthusiasm to himself, as if it was no big deal, even though he had been looking at the glass intently since he poured it this afternoon, almost two hours ago.

I have a good feeling about this batch, I know it.

He kept repeating it in his head, day after day, as the debts mounted, and his business died on the vine like one of his grapes.

No more messing around.

He knocked it back.

And just as quickly spat it back out.

Sour.

Sour, with a foul lingering aftertaste akin to seaweed. That was how his seasoned tongue would rate the drink, he could see it in some glossy wine aficionado magazine.

“A sharp, almost painful sour note followed by a stomach churning, salty aftertaste like garbage left out on a hot day.”

He smashed the glass of the table and let out a bellow of rage, shards flying over the floor of his kitchen, his palm left with a gash. In the dimly lit kitchen he was aware the only sound was his heaving breath.

“Another success?”

His wife stepped from the shadows where she had been watching. Her nasal voice cut him as much as the glass did.

“Not now,” Malc groaned, not even feeling the pain in his hand. The pain in his heart was a hundred times worse.

“Now,” she said, seeming to sweep away the glass, move a seat out and sit down in one unbroken motion, “we agreed if your newest batch failed, that this ends.”

Malc shifted uncomfortably. He had said that, but he was so sure it was going to work this time. He hadn’t really thought that he was going to act on his promise.

He looked around his home, the dark vineyards outside, his little piece of this wide world.

Kate sighed. She didn’t like chewing her husband out, but the dream was over. That much was unavoidable. A vineyard in Perth had always been a pipedream, as if proper Scottish wine could ever be grown. Not quirky token wine people marvelled at and never drank again but real, proper wine. Wine that could go toe to toe with France or Italy. Malc had believed in it, believed in it so much, and she had got caught up in that. Her natural pragmatism was washed away by his unending optimism.

The dream was dead now though. The putrid liquid Malc had tried to drink was the result of all their hard work.

Don’t mince words, this is a total failure.

“Tomorrow we can go to the bank,” she said, stroking his arm, “the vineyard is worthless but the land is valuable. Maybe enough to get rid of all those business loans or at least most of them. You can go back to deliveries, I will get a job again in the office, they said they had a temp space that needed filled.”

Silence.

“A few months, maybe a year, we can get back up on our feet,” she smiled at him.

Malc fought back the tears in his eyes.

She didn’t wait for a response and left him to his thoughts, making her way to the bedroom. Kate was the family disciplinarian, her two sons would attest to that. She was tough, you had to be, but she still felt for her husband. She cared for him and it hurt her to see his dream in pieces. That was no excuse for wallowing though, you had to dust yourself off and move on. He wasn’t going to be a millionaire entrepreneur, he had tried and now it was time for damage limitation.

Lying in her bed, she decided that tomorrow morning she would make Malc his favourite breakfast, the full fry up. That always put him in a good mood, maybe at night as well she would indulge in her wifely duties (not that she minded at all, she still found Malc attractive even if he was losing his hair and was a bit more rotund these days).

She could help Malc, she knew that she could. All that really mattered was they were together.

 

Malc looked at the puddle of red wine on the floor like it has personally betrayed him.

“This is how it ends,” he growled. He grew up on the tales of mavericks, men and women who were called fools by the ignorant masses but then rose up and stood victorious. He had always quietly counted himself among them. From a family of failures but destined for greatness.

Now though it seemed like he was one of the people everyone called a fool…and just was. There was no good ending to his story. They told him you couldn’t grow this kind of wine in Scotland, that even the south of England was a push. He ignored them, as through sheer force of will he would make it work.

Malc cruelly dissected his own life, a forty-year-old failure, a string of failed ideas, married to a loyal wife who had seen her life savings squandered on flawed business ideas, two sons who wasted years of their lives trying to prop up his latest venture.

The guilt he felt was mostly for his own failed dreams but he acknowledged that his suffering sons and wife had lost some good years of their lives as well.

He wouldn’t go to bed, he sat glowering in the darkness, rage coursing through his veins.

“I’d do anything for this to work.”

Self-pity turned to hatred, hatred for this miserable world and everything it had done to fuck him over.

***

Dark forces watch over the world, as they always have, and always will. Thousands of them swam in the sky, swarming over each other, or slithered through the streets, invisible to mortal eyes, able to pass through solid structures with ease.

The pain, suffering, misery, that living creatures emanated sustained them like the mortal races and water. They drank it and what a sweet elixir it was. Smaller dark spirits delighted in the daily strife mortals faced, depression at work, alcoholism, lovers betrayed, street muggings. This was enough for them and it was in an endless supply in a world of six billion people.

Those smaller worms and serpents parted in the streets and cringed deferentially when the larger monstrosities passed. The Dark Lords, the apex predators, they revelled in terrorist attacks, wars, genocide. Lone creatures, they glided through the cityscapes, gigantic entities, as tall as a skyscraper on its side, looking for true horror to feast on.

Since they had first stood upright, mortals had reached out to the dark spirits in profane rituals, horrific sacrifices and more. These ceremonies only served to stroke the egos of the dark spirits, they didn’t need anything so mundane to intervene in mortal affairs, although they did enjoy them.

One Dark Lord, vicious and cruel even by the standards of his ruthless brethren, could sense a pinprick of white hot rage. It shone brightly, rippling through the air, intense and pulsating. Such hatred, anger, it was beautiful in its purity. Although the being was not calling out to the dark spirits, they could feel him, and revelled in it.

The Dark Lord flew towards it, knowing there was the possibility of such havoc.

He found it all mouth-watering.

***

Malc turned off the kitchen light, getting ready to head to bed. There was nothing else he could do. He had hoped that, through sheer focus, he would force a solution to occur to him. Like in the movies, there would be that Eureka moment and a plan to save the business and his family would occur to him. That was how it was meant to happen. An entrepreneur, against the wall, comes up with the idea to make it all okay.

His head was as empty as his future. He swore softly to himself again.

“Loser,” he said, his reflection all too clear in the metal table top.

His limbs ached having sat on the kitchen stool for the last few hours, especially his back. He wasn’t a young man anymore, he needed a hot bath and sleep. As if, he would be tossing and turning all night, desperately looking for a solution to his ruined life.

He noticed the dull blue light emanating from his living room. Kate must have left the television on.

And she’s always moaning to me about electricity bills.

Normally he would have ignored that without a second thought but in his current state of mind, Malc considered this an affront, he was half tempted to stomp upstairs and demand she come down herself and turn it off.

“I’ll do it myself,” he grumbled.

He walked into the living and stopped dead.

A man was sitting in the living room chair, at ease, as if he belonged there.

“Hello Malc,” the voice purred, oddly stilted with a strange accent he couldn’t place. It was as if the man was using his lips and mouth for the first time.

“W-w-who are you?” Malc stammered.

A home invasion, that was what part of Malc thought it was. Some junkie that had broken in for a quick shake down. The idea was almost laughable, as if he had any money.

That was the simple, the sane explanation of why a man was sitting in his living room. It wasn’t the answer though, Malc knew that, there was more danger here than that. Something he couldn’t put his finger on, a wrongness to it all.

The figure was mostly concealed in shadow, a tall, lanky man in flowing robes of darkness. His eyes were a sickly, putrid green, all that was visible apart from shining white teeth. Even though the living room was lit, the bright screen glowing, it was as if the light couldn’t touch whoever this man was, getting lost in his darkness.

“Who are you?” Malc asked again.

“That is not important Malc,” the figure retorted to the terrified man.

His strange inflections made him say it like ttttthat is not impooortant Mmmmalc.

“I can help youuuuu Mmmmalc. I want to help you.”

Malc, feeling like this was all a nightmare and that last batch had poisoned him as bad as any bathtub moonshine, simply nodded.

“I cccccan make this farmmmm groooow Malc. I can make your dreams come true.”

Despite the fear, despite the insanity of the situation, the part of Malc’s brain that housed ambition suddenly woke up. He had prayed for an answer, wished for a solution from on high and now here it was, sitting in his living room, offering to help.  Here sat the answer to his prayers, on his cheap Ikea chair, as if he was a pal popping by.

“You would do that for me?”

Those sickly eyes narrowed, “yessss.”

“What if I say no,” he dared to venture.

“I willll leave you in peeeace.”

The Dark Lord meant it as well. Humans were so wonderful in the pain they inflicted and crafting their own demise, that was where the true satisfaction came from. He had to power to rend this pathetic mortal limb from limb, to annihilate his farm in unholy fire, to destroy this whole hemisphere if he so desired. But that was all quick, no agony, only surprise then death. He would starve in those conditions. Destroying the mortal races was within the power of any Dark Lord but that was akin to slitting their own throat. They needed the cattle.

He wanted pain, misery, sadness, betrayal, the sweetest nectar of all. Death was often a part of the process but there was more to it than that.

Malc visibly gulped, “you want something in return though?”

Maybe Malc had a string of bad luck and perhaps some of his business ideas had been failures but he wasn’t totally naïve. He had the feeling this creature was not of this earth but if the universe had one rule, it had to be you don’t get anything for free.

“A prrrrice has to be paid Mmmmalc.”

The Dark Lord grinned with undisguised malice.

“Are you the devil?” he whispered.

“Something muuuuch worse Malc…”

 

***

Other books by Lee Johnston, available on Amazon

North Sea Nightmare

Bad Credit

The Shape in the Sky

Vermin Anthology

 

Why Christmas horror stories can work so well

I recently re-watched Krampus and was surprised at how well it still holds up (the universal horror movie that was released at cinemas, not the dozens of knock offs). Inventive monsters, an unsettling ending, sympathetic but repulsive characters, I really enjoyed it. I would also strongly recommend A Christmas Horror Story, an anthology of Christmas themed horror stories that are brilliantly tied together. I won’t ruin the twist, but the ending knocked it from 3/5 up to 4/5, and I’m a harsh critic when it comes to movies. The classic Gremlins movie is a superb Christmas horror film. The more I think about, the more superb examples keep coming to mind, I could write an entire blog on it but that isn’t what I want to do.

Why is it that Christmas horror stories can work so well?

Rather than some “I hate Christmas” vibe the movies can be accused of feeding, I think these stories only really work on people who enjoy Christmas. If you genuinely hate Christmas, odds are you wouldn’t be drawn to them in the first place and would skip them. Example, I’m not really into Easter, isn’t really much of an event where I live. I’m genuinely not hugely interested in it- I’m aware of the religious importance of Easter but it can come and go without much of an impact on me. Since I’m not really interested in it, an Easter horror film wouldn’t really jump out at me.

Christmas, now I love Christmas (I’m writing this in a Christmas jumper actually). The goodwill, seeing friends, London is done up with all the lights and more. Because I really enjoy this time of year, Christmas horror movies catch my eye.

So rather than targeting people who don’t like Christmas, these movies and books aim at people who enjoy it. Their appeal comes from the juxtaposition of such a happy time, a time of happiness and fun, with something terrifying. That is what can give these movies or books a real impact, a punch to the gut of the viewer.

The most important lesson to take from this is that a good way to put an unnerving spin on your horror writing is to combine it with a happy time or place rather than going for pure dread from start to finish.

In Defence of Fan Fiction

Fanfiction gets a bad rap a lot of the time, and I really don’t see why. Rather than looking at the fanfiction community, most of the criticisms are levelled against what the people think the community is like. Classic straw man arguments, you aren’t debating the other side, you are debating a crude caricature of what the other side supposedly is.

Back when I was younger, I wrote fanfic and had a blast doing it. I wrote Nightmare on Elm Street fanfic and Star Wars. The Star Wars fan fictions I wrote were based on the original trilogy, ignored the prequels and it was fun fleshing out the universe in my own way.

Before rolling your eyes at the idea of fanfic, I would say to keep the below in mind.

  • Some fanfiction becomes published novels

And the number keeps increasing, so before we act like fanfic writers are some other underclass of writers, lots of them are making the jump into published authors.

  • The quality of writing on fanfiction will surprise you

Honestly, particularly in the Star Wars, Harry Potter, Fallout and Final Fantasy communities. Jaw dropping writing that would put plenty of well known authors to shame, page turners and the length of some of these stories, 60K words easily (my longest novel is 50K, so above that).

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of terrible stories but I honestly think the balance is a net positive.

  • It’s a fun, creative outlet

As a writer, I like to see other people writing. It brings me joy and there is an element of kinship in others trying to do the same.

Someone sitting up at night hammering away at the keyboard to explore their favourite fictional universes, what a creative way to spend their time.

Fanfic writers, good going and keep at it!

Karma in horror

A recurring aspect of all my novels is what goes around, comes around. Whether it is a reckless government throwing up an oil rig in unknown regions (North Sea Nightmare) or a greedy pencil pusher deliberately living beyond his means (Bad Credit), people in my novels tend to get severely punished for their failings.

Even if they don’t call it karma, I think most horror fans do believe in the basic tenants of it (karma as in you get your comeuppance, not the strict Buddhist interpretation). I know I do. Even if that isn’t how the world works, it is how it should work, in my opinion anyway. Even if you legally escape the consequences of actions, fate conspires to ensure punishment is inflicted.

I notice that in most horror media, it falls into a few specific tropes.

  • Some people bring it on themselves by their decisions.

In The Hills have Eyes 2, the scout ditches the squad to make it on his own, and dies climbing down the mountainside when he runs into the not so friendly locals. In Jaws, the mayor decides to keep the beach open despite the warnings a shark is in the region (and I believe the fan theory that this has happened before and been covered up). In Aliens, the scheming executive locks the marines outside his own room and to his horror realises he is trapped inside with an alien.

A movie I liked that done this well was slasher film, Sorority Row. A group of girls play a pretty nasty prank on a guy that results in the death of their friend. They convince the gent that the girl he is sleeping with has died and it is his fault. They are pretending to dump her body in the lake when, to ensure her corpse doesn’t float to the top, he rams a tire iron into her lungs- which kills her for real. The friends go their separate ways and then start getting brutally murdered by a serial killer. Cause and effect, their actions brought this horror, karma.

I could go on and on, but these are characters who through making a selfish, corrupt or cowardly decision are punished. Most die but not always, in Drag Me to Hell or Friend Request, the female leads are cursed for their respective failings.

  • Others, it is their personality and smaller, pettier actions that bring a reckoning.

Think of every bitchy blonde in every slasher movie you have seen who is brutally killed (was Paris Hilton bitchy in House of Wax? She was certainly not too bright). Or even the meat head jock who ends up with an axe in their head.

Rather than making some important, plot sensitive decision they are just all round unpleasant people who we want to die for being so repellent. Part of this might be our own pent up frustration, as we all must deal with these sorts in our day to day lives. We want to see them punished for having such an odious or shallow personality. No need to feel guilty when a repellent character dies and you feel that warm, smug feeling. We crave that, to see the guilty get what they deserve even if the crime is just being a horrible person.

Old Fairy Tales were often about morality and there were severe consequences for misbehaving children – death being the most frequent. That is continued in many ways, the teens doing drugs, hooking up and getting drunk, are ambushed by a hockey mask wearing psycho. Haha sounds like a tenuous link but I see a direct link between the old Grimm fairy tales and Friday the 13th, I really do.

Love writing

Recently my lap top broke, and having just moved to London, there was no way I was getting a new one anytime soon. I needed a few months to catch up, get myself on secure financial footing, then I could splash out on a new laptop (that’s too long working in banking clearly, I’m very boring with my money).  

I thought a break from writing might be good, that a few weeks away would mean I come back to it even more energised and ready to go. I was treating my writing like my work, using the same kind of justifications and rationalisation.

After a few days of not writing though, I realised a new laptop wasn’t an indulgence, but rather a necessity. I felt like I had withdrawal symptoms honestly, I was fidgety, unfocused, felt restless, it got to the point where I started writing by hand in a pad. Nothing wrong if you like doing that but I have always been a keyboard kind of guy, I was so desperate to write though I broke out the pen and paper.

It also clarified for me how much my writing means to me. I can take breaks from games, movies, my day job without it getting to me but not writing. It’s clear that writing is something that I simply love doing and couldn’t stop even if I wanted to. Of course, success in that field would make me very happy but like hundreds of other writers out there no doubt, there is pleasure in the craft itself.

Writing away today, working on my fifth novel and feeling good about it.