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5 comments · 105 views
The title of this blog is not a joke. What I enjoy about horror the most is it's incredible possibilities for humor. Consider, a big part of humor is incongruity, and there is usually something very incongruous at the heart of a horror story. The heroes of a horror story find themselves in a situation that is just plain impossible, and have to resolve what they know can't happen with what they can clearly see is actually happening. If you can't find the humorous possibilities in this you can't write comedy.
What's the difference between the twist ending of a horror story and the punchline of a joke? No, seriously, what's the difference? I don't know, though it seems to just be in the context. Looking at it like that, the classic Twilight Zone episode "To Serve Mankind" ends with one of the best punchlines ever written. The New Twilight Zone "A Small Talent For War" might be even better.
This time of year I start thinking about ghost stories, and I've just written one. It's a tribute to one of the funniest stories I have ever read, Steven King's "Battleground." "Battleground" is not a comedy, it is very much a work of horror. It is also hilarious.
My story is A Little Game Of War. I think I put enough of myself into the story to call it a tribute and not a rip off. If it is a rip off, it is done with love. Read the original (you must!) and compare King's 'slip of paper under the door' scene with the way I riff on the same scene. Love. Much better than the scene was treated in the made for TV version, where it was butchered.
My biggest regret about writing "A Little Game Of War"? I wish I'd made it funnier.
Now that I have my horror story of the year out of the way I can concentrate on what I really love about the Nightmare Night/Halloween season, namely how very cute the holiday is. More Quizzical stories coming soon..
6w, 5dIt Is Done14 comments · 149 views
Yeah, I did it.
A few notes. I had reported that each of the 11 scoops of ice weighed half a pound, I have been corrected. The true measure is closer to four pounds. I did indeed need a second bucket. There was considerably more ice than water, though enough water that I escaped without a concussion.
I allowed myself a cigarette, no one was nice enough to offer me a blindfold.
It was very cold.
0 comments · 36 views
I wanted to put off the Challenge until October, but we need to winterize and do annual maintenance on my ice maker soon. So it's been moved up to this Saturday, September 13. The current score is 10 scoops of ice (more than enough to give me a concussion). I'm going to need another bucket.
7 comments · 164 views
I've been nominated for the Ice Bucket Challenge link. Unfortunately, I must decline due to events at work. I had made my employees a deal; if they could meet a simple goal then I would do the Challenge. It was a modest thing, all they really had to do was... well... their jobs. The fail was epic. I would frankly prefer a bucket of ice water over my head to that really, really awful day at work. But a deal is a deal. They failed, I don't have to do the Challenge. It would be wrong to turn around and do it anyway.
Quizzical Greystone: JMac, might I courteously interrupt here?
Quiz? What do you want?
QG: It is just that, as I have nothing to do with your work commitments, and in fact no one who works for you ever reads anything you write, I believe I could honorably accept the Challenge on your behalf.
But, Quiz, you're fictional.
QG: That is true. To accept the Challenge I would need a real-world proxy. As my creator, you are the obvious choice.
That's stunningly convoluted, Quiz.
QG: I am willing to endure ridiculous amounts of convoluted logic to see you with ice water over your head, JMac.
I love you,too, Quiz.
QG:I know, though it confuses me. Oh, and it is possible to, um, what is the term? Sweeten the deal?
Oh, this is intriguing. What's your action, Quiz?
QG:Please do not call it action. However, my fan site could use a boost. Offer add an additional dollar to the donation to the ALS Association, and an additional scoop of ice, for every new member of the site.
Additional Scoops? That scooper came with our commercial ice maker! It holds half a pound of ice!
QG: Oh,yes. But you would have nothing to worry about. The ice bin holds 100 pounds. At any rate, the Challenge has been criticized for being all about self promotion. You would be on that band wagon. On the other hoof, the Challenge has also been criticized for not being truly about charity, and you would counter this by translating promotion directly into charity. You would simultaneously be following a trend and countering an impression that is negative. It will all be positive.
Again, that is really convoluted, Quiz.
QG: Agreed. I could not come to such reasoning on my own, but Miss Pinkie has been coaching me. It is quite ridiculous, but the results are surprisingly compelling.
Have you really just talked me into having a commercial bin of ice dumped over my head, and sending a dollar a member on expanding your fan group?
QG:I certainly hope I just did, yes.
Fine. But I'll get you for this. If you think you're miserable in "Basements of Doom" just you wait for the Nightmare Night adventure we start this October.
QG: Oh, dear.
So, I guess I'm taking the Ice Bucket Challenge. It will be October 2, with extra scoops of ice for every new fan Quiz gets. link
You can suppliment my donation here The ALS Association.
14w, 2dPrequel to Quizzical4 comments · 92 views
I've just published "I'll Take That One" which is the 'When Luna Met Quiz' story that would have been the prologue to Quizzical, if I'd written a prologue.
Some of you may not be rejoicing, because you were hoping for chapter 10 of Basements of Doom instead. Please allow me to try and set your minds at ease. First, a word about what went wrong with Basements. There were two things, really. My first problem was not knowing what was going to happen in the middle of the tale. I could see the end very clearly, and a few of the individual scenes (eg. I knew Quiz would be asked to swing on a vine over a crocodile filled stream, and that she would not be happy about it) but I couldn't see enough to actually write the middle. That is no longer the case (mostly).
My second problem was I kept being distracted by ideas that captured my imagination and that I wanted to write more than Basements (eg. Adventures In Cake Sitting). I also encountered a lot of contests with writing prompts that inspired me (eg. Friendly Spirit, Stand Ready). I found a lot to do instead of Basements.
My current plan is to alternate between chapters of Basements and projects that distract me. This way I'll get the distractions out of my system, and some of the many, many projects on my ToDo list cleared, and I'll still make progress on Basements of Doom.
Even as I write I have a notebook in my lap, with the outline for chapter 10. It's going to be a little late - I only have one day off left between now and Bronycon. But it's coming, and you won't have to wait until next August for it.
For now, please enjoy "I'll Take That One"