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My sanatarium encounter turned from a simple "get a file from a filing cabinet" to " oh crumbs, the head doctor is being worn by a demon like a skin suit and now he's skittering around upside down like the Ring girl"

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13 hours ago, Alcoremortis said:

My sanatarium encounter turned from a simple "get a file from a filing cabinet" to " oh crumbs, the head doctor is being worn by a demon like a skin suit and now he's skittering around upside down like the Ring girl"

OMG I love the style here. You have a very unique voice!

That Ring reference though? You're still writing that cosmic horror story with the woman who loses her memory right?

Edited by Tiny Dust!

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2 minutes ago, Tiny Dust! said:

OMG I love the style here. You have a very unique voice!

That Ring reference though? You're still writing that cosmic horror story with the woman who loses her memory right?

Yep. Since she's a detective, I've sorta been writing it a bit like a hardboiled detectiveΒ novel, chasing leads and getting fed tidbits of information that turn into more leads. The latest lead was a newspaper article that she found, showing that she'd been admitted to this sanitarium and she makes the leap that maybe the weird number on her arm refers to a file cabinet drawer where she might have hid some info. So she and vampire sidekick decide to try to bluff their way in to take a peak (she disguises herself to not get recognized). They initially are planning to pretend that they're looking for a place to stash their nuts uncle, but then the head doctor thinks they're undercover cops, so they go along with that and he shows them a spoopy occurrence that happened the exact same night the main character event (basically this one exam room got tilted 90 degrees somehow).Β 

I happened to accidentally develop some world-building during the course of writing, that any sort of magic that messes with space/time is banned because it can weaken the fabric of reality and let "things" from other planes travel through. Which happened here where a creature from the other side passes through a weak spot and some nurses from our side pass halfway through before getting fused together and stuck in the floor. The creature possesses the head doctor and treats the place like his own little amusement park. When the main characters show up, it tries to lure them to the basement where it's locked up the rest of the staff and patients, but they figure out something is wrong too fast and then have to frantically run around for a bit to try and find things that creatures from outside reality don't like to get the thing out of the doctor (basically silver and salt).

Of course, now the doctor is now probably gonna be a full time resident for awhile because being possessed is agonizing and traumatizing.

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Let's see if you guys can convert me.

I'm not a fan of Lovecraft, so what's so great about cosmic horror in your opinions?

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So, weird thing is I'm not really a huge fan of raw Lovecraft. There's neat ideas, but the characters seem pretty sterile and the prose tends to drag on in the style of the time. What I am a fan of are rewrites of Lovecraft, where other writers who are better at characterization do a new treatment of the stories to make them more interesting on a personal levelΒ (like in video games, movies, and plays). Same with Ambrose Bierce.

I guess the interest lies in fear of something that is not understandable. There's not often any neat answers in cosmic horror, at least for the characters. Which is a lot different from traditional horror, which tends to provide very straightforward answers. Like why does Normon Bates kill women? Because he has a messed up relationship with his dead mother. Why does Jigsaw make these elaborate traps? Because he believesΒ that only the people with the strongest desire to survive deserve to live. Why do zombies eat people? Because they're hungry.Β 

There are no answers in cosmic horror, only suggestions. Why does Pennywise eat kids? We don't know. Why do they need to be scared first? No idea. Why Derry? Who knows. He's a powerful child-eating spider monster from outer space. We can guess that he's really eating the fear or whatever, but we don't reallyΒ knowΒ anything. And nobody does. The kids figure things that work out live through trial and error. There's no manual for dealing with this sort of thing.Β The only information about a cosmic horror villain usually comes from the mad or the wrong. It's garbage or incomplete. And in fighting the monster, either the characters have to try to figure out what they're fighting while they're fighting it or eschew finding out anything at all in favor of simply stopping an intermediary of the monster (like cultists or evil wizards or what have you). And that is part of the lasting effect of the horror. The protagonistsΒ might win, but they might not know why or if they've even truly won. Or in terms of many Lovecraft monsters, it's never a win, just a delay.

And I find that scarier, or at least more interesting to me. I feel like the more you know about a horror villain/monster, the less scary they are. The monster lurking in the shadows is scarier than the monster standing on the other side of a brightly lit room. Also, why traditional vampires aren't scary. Yeah, they can drink your blood while you're sleeping, but they can't come in your house unless you invite them, burn up in direct sunlight, can be warded away with holy symbols, holy water, and garlic, can be killed with a wooden stake to the heart, etc. So much is known about vampires that they can be a threat, but a threat where how to defeat it isΒ common knowledge. But how do you kill a Shoggoth or a Pennywise? Well, if you've read the books already, you'd know, but when you start for the first time, you don't know. It's completely new. And you as a reader/watcher can't judge for yourself whether a character's plan would work because you're just as in the dark as they are.

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So for me Cosmic Horror is how we grapple with the anxieties and fears inspired by realizing how insignificant and fragile our place in the universe really is.

It's giving form to the formless knowing that most things are unknown, and unknowable, that your life will end in a the blink of blink of a blink relative to the existence of the universe itself, and more so, that all of human history basically fits on that same scale.

It's grappling with the fact that, despite all of our best efforts (and some of our worst) we might be wiped out, not by ourselves, but by something we aren't prepared for, and in fact, could never have prepared for.

Here's some fun videos on the subject of the universe ending. Which cosmologists are obsessed with, and basically all of them agree, whatever their theory is, that we're in a trap that is already sprung, and the only thing to figure out is how long we have until it closes and we're %#$@&!ed.

That is the appeal of cosmic horror. Staring down inevitability, looking into the nihilism inspiring abyss that is our pointless, tiny lives, and shuddering, for shudder is all you can do.

Or laugh, but that's not the point of Cosmic Horror.

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Tiny Dust's seems a lot more in line with raw Lovecraft, but I Al's explanation makes me want to take a closer look.

Since Tiny brought up nihilism, during the outlining of The Troop I actually changed my original chosen endingΒ because I didn't like ending it off in full fledged hopelessness. The story already has too much of that. Hopefully when I finally throw the whole shebang out here you guys won't have a problem with it.

Edited by Noname215

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I don't think nihilism is about hoplessness though. I know a lot of people attribute it to hopelessness because it's so commonly associated with depression, but honestly I'm an optimistic Nihilist. I think Nihilism is a good thing for people, it frees you from getting caught up in petty garbage. There are no principles, so you decide what's important to you.

I think this can be used incorrectly by selfish people who feel it frees them to do and act however they feel without consequence. But used correctly, it frees us from reliance on beliefs and attitudes which don't fit our constantly evolving society. At the end of the day, we're all going to die, and there's no great plan for us,Β  no judge to hold us accountable for our actions in life, only us, and what we decide our purpose is, and what we do to hold each other accountable.

If more people were Optimistic Nihilists, we'd see more people asking what makes them happy, and how they can live their lives to maximize their happiness and the happiness of those around them. Instead of so much anxiety over who did what and why that's wrong because of what I was taught growing up, and their ought to be a law against that, oh and now there is.

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I still think Nietzsche was full of crap.Β But whatever.

I've finished plotting outΒ a martialΒ arts comedy I'm probably never going to write called Bullshito.Β Just for a laugh and a pun.

Edited by Noname215

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Is that for the pun? In that case, mission accomplished.

Also, made a playlist for The Troop. Not necessarily a 'soundtrack' but music I jam to while writing to set the mood. Although there certainly are songs here I picked to match up to certain scenes.

Β 

Edited by Noname215

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So I'm worried about a particular scene that I think may lean a bit too close to exploitation. I'm aware of the overall meaning of the scene to mean more than what an audience would be witnessing, but I think it could be too much. Yet damn it, I'm still gonna write it in and let itΒ be judged.

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How well do you guys think you can handle written graphic violenceΒ 

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13 hours ago, Noname215 said:

How well do you guys think you can handle written graphic violenceΒ 

It's not a question of whether people can "handle it" as much as it is a question of whether it is appropriate for this forum/community.

Keep in mind that the DF community is (or tries to be as much as possible) a NICE place and a SAFE place. Certain depictions of graphic violence, depending on what they depict and how extreme they are, could potentially be either offensive or upsetting to people who have suffered through certain types of experiences.

Please be careful and considerate :tup:

To be absolutely safe, I might recommend putting it behind spoiler tags and including warnings about the content.

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Yeah, I'd say spoiler tags and content warning at a minimum, or link to a google docs or something.Β 

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Link to the story. It'll show up in search engines as being DFAF content if you don't.

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Okay. Favorite female novelist that you take inspiration from. Go.

Edited by Noname215

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Top 5?

I myself can really only name 3. Flannery O'Connor, Agatha Christie, and Shirley Jackson.

Edited by Noname215

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So I got a few old scripts that I'm thinking of entering in Screencraft's Horror Contest next year. The one I'm really hopeful for is set entirely in a room with no windows and no doors, and is about five amnesiac people trapped in there for weeks and slowly winding down. But really I just want to show that I have the stones to weigh my stuff against others'.

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Tamora Pierce, Suzanne Collins, JK Rowling would probably be my top three off the top of my head.

Though, I guess I've been taking more from Jane Austen and Mary Shelley recently.

Regarding horror stage plays, my dad and I are planning to try writing a Lovecraft adaptation for this local theater troupe we like.

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Did Mary Shelley really even write anything worth mention beyond Frankenstein?

I fell in love with Shirley Jackson's stuff when I read The Lottery back in middle school. Then I just went on a binge, to We Have Always Lived In The Castle to The Haunting Of Hill House to The Summer People and etcetera. She's got a vivid and powerful prose that hooks me every time, and is my second favorite horror author, under Stephen King and above Richard Matheson.

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