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On Writing Slash Part 2

Slash one got mixed results so far from the reviewers, but that doesn’t mean much since it only has six reviews now. We will see how it works out in the future. I’m really enjoying this format, though, having a book that’s very character-driven instead of plot-driven. Not much happened in Slash Part 1, and that was by design. I wanted to build a world that I thought was realistic, fun, and something you could lose yourself in versus my usual “movies on paper” approach.

I’ve been listening to a lot of audiobooks recently, and it really does help me a lot in the creative process, even though I’ve been heavily skewing towards non-fiction. I have a huge backlog that I need to get through. I really do enjoy, Woodland, though. I think it’s a really interesting place with some really messed up stuff going on, but to me, the characters are a lot more interesting than the plot.

If you boil the plot down of Book 1, it would basically be some people got killed by a slasher villain, and the town caught who they thought was the killer. There really wasn’t much more in terms of plot there. It was mostly about just living with these characters and the interesting lives that they led. It really was heavily based on Stephen King’s IT, where the clown is barely in the book. Most of it really is just watching people live their lives in Derry and watching how they all interconnect.

Pennywise isn’t the main point of IT. It’s a coming-of-age novel along with a character study of all these different people, with the killer clown basically being the thing that glues it together. It’s not the structure or the entire book. I think of Slash the same way. The story really is about a killer on the loose that kills people, but if you are looking for a generic slasher, you’d be watching a Jason movie or Halloween film, which I love both. I want to give you that same sort of IT feeling. Where you can just lose yourself in Woodland, explore it, and just enjoy your time there and watch as people slowly get killed.

One thing that was missing from many horror movies until recently was consequence. The killer would kill someone, and then it would be off to the next victim without much consequence beyond a character being gone. Then in Halloween Kills and Scream 5, they added that when someone died, people were upset. They felt that. It was not just scary. It was heartbreaking watching someone’s family member be taken away from them. It added a lot of depth, and then the stories of these different people really did add a lot for me versus a bunch of teens nobody cares about getting killed one by one in the 80s.

I want to go for that in Woodland. A TV show approach. A slow burn that is less about the killer and more about these people who are infinitely fucked up, but you would never know it without reading about it. Maybe it will make you wonder about people in your community, too, and the secrets they hide.

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