You may know some people who are Christmas Elves—the kind that eat, sleep, and breathe Christmas from November 1 through January 31. I’m not one of them. I’m the evil broad whose house has a homemade graveyard, hidden light-up eyeballs, ghosts dancing around my apple tree, and a shrieking doormat. Oh, and bloody words in the windows. And that’s just the outside.
So, even though The Day is still a few hours in the future, I’m starting the celebrations now. And I’d like to thank the chocolate companies for those lovely "$1.00 off 2 bags of candy" coupons that appeared in the Sunday paper all month. My waistline doesn’t thank them, but nothing’s perfect.
A trunked novel of mine has a huge Halloween party, but I don’t see one happening in a future book, yet. As a writer, I love the challenge of a crowd scene. How to keep the focus on your MC. How to bring in the right kind of characters for color and effect while making the party move the plot along. How to rein in the party-ness of the scene while making the reader hear the music, the conversation, the overall noise; smell the perfumes and the food, feel the breeze from the open windows and inhale the scent of late October: leaves, earth, that underlying chill that says the “s” word is right around the corner.
In the Northeast, “snow” is definitely a four-letter word. Especially by March. But that’s another post. Cabin fever, anyone?
Now, however, it’s my favorite holiday of the year. Bring on the monster movie marathons. The cheesier the better, although I do own some truly frightening movies for late at night.
I love fun “scares” but I also love edge-of-your-seat scares. The kind that make the reader turn on a few more lights while they finish a chapter. I once said that my writing goal was to create a character as enduring as Dracula or Sam Spade. What are the most memorable scares and characters you’ve read?
While I wait for your answers, I’ll just be outside putting a few more ghoul effects in my graveyard. There are cute little neighborhood kids to scare.