Writing

My Creepy Meter is Off

Yesterday for my teaser Tuesday, I posted the first couple of lines from Darkness Rising by Keri Arthur.  A lot of people said it was sad, which I agree with.

But a lot of people also said it was creepy, which I didn’t see until people pointed it out. I thought those lines were a little sad and lot interesting. It makes me wonder if my creepy meter is off.

It could be. I mean, some people think half the stuff I read is horror. I think it is urban fantasy. I mean, you find it on the SF shelves. But some people also think vampire=horror.

Beyond that, I submitted a story for a flash anthology and the editor accepted for a horror anthology (she’s the editor for both). I thought my story was urban fantasy. But, no, it is apparently horror. And horror is supposed to be creepy, right? It’s not just about gore and monsters. It’s the scary and creepy factor of a story that makes it horror (you don’t need gore for that).

I am thinking now I misjudge how creepy stories are in general, both the ones I write and the ones I read.

I mean, I loved ghost stories, monster stories and mystery stories as a child. A good chunk of my childhood reading came from the library’s horror section. The children’s horror section was pretty small and there were never enough ghost/demon/monster stories. The mystery section was much bigger, so I read a lot of mysteries, especially the ones about haunted houses.

I guess what I am saying since I’ve spent a good chunk of time reading stuff like that, I just don’t see it as creepy anymore. Maybe stuff that other people read and think “creepy”, I go “ohhh interesting.” Maybe stuff I think of as creepy, other people think of as scary.

It’s a little worrisome, because it means I can’t judge my own writing effectively.

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4 thoughts on “My Creepy Meter is Off

  1. I think I understand. A lot of my stuff seems just suspenseful to me but others think it’s scary. Maybe it’s all relative. I’m fascinated by macabre and some are scared of it.

    Congrats on your acceptances!

  2. I think when you read and write creepy you become anaesthetised to it. I know when I write stuff I think is that creepy, it doesn’t feel creepy to me, and yet my readers think it is.

    Congratulations on the anthology acceptance.

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