Monday, August 31, 2015

Farewell, Wes Craven

The other day I was absently singing some kiddie nonsense to the baby.

"One, two, buckle my shoe...three, four, shut the door...five, six, grab your, eight, better stay up late...nine, ten, never sleep a- oh, damn it."

But this is the kind of thing that happens when you're a Wes Craven fan.

And today we say good-bye to one of my favorite horror guys, who once read an article about the unexplained deaths of two sisters and from it created one of the most terrifying concepts in horror cinema.
But this story about the creation of one of filmdom's most notorious monsters is a great example of How to Avoid Writer's Block.

We all get stuck on stories sometimes. But too often I hear people complaining they just don't have any ideas. They want to write, but don't know what to write about.  And I always

Wes Craven read a news story about two teenage sisters who died, apparently in their sleep, of no known cause. Witnesses said their faces bore expressions of fear when the bodies were found. He was intrigued by the case, and eventually speculated that something in their dreams had frightened them to death. And thus Freddie Krueger was born. The real terror of Freddie was never his burn scars, or the claws. It was that he could attack you in your dreams, and everybody, EVERYBODY, has to sleep sometime. There was literally no way to escape him. It's brilliant. It's scary as hell. It's a fantastic story, and a great character.

And this is how we get ideas. We pay attention to the big news stories, and also the small ones. The weird ones. One of my favorite things in the world is a radio show called Coast to Coast A.M., a hotbed of conspiracy theories, ghost stories, and alien abduction experiences. This show- on nightly, 1 am- 5 am ET, probably on your local FM station- is a gold mine for speculative fiction writers. A few days ago Coast to Coast was interviewing the great-great grandson of H.H. Holmes. Apparently no one in the family was aware of their ancestor until the interviewee's grandfather took the opportunity over a family dinner to tell them they were descended from one of America's most notorious serial killers.

Now THERE'S a story.

So keep your eyes and ears open. Stories can hide anywhere, and they want to be told. All it takes is a little persuasion to draw them out into the open.

No comments:

Post a Comment