Monday, December 24, 2012

Why we need really shit writers...

Dustin LaValley made the following post on the Horror Writers Association Facebook page today.

I am of the internet generation of dark fiction authors. Those of our generation who create work worth the damn are far and few between.

I fully blame the internet for the overwhelming presence of the ignorant, self-righteous, the stupid, the dipshits who write and the dipshits who only publish zombie fiction and vampire fiction (which is dying... so luckily, zombie is next... hopefully). It is depressing to see those who are creating work that is done so in an individual voice, with flowing prose and new formulas, challenging format and in all, writing unique pieces... being ignored like a fussing child while those who write the same fucking thing in the same fucking formula with no voice and no distinction between their work and the work on any fan fiction message board by bored housewives trying to escape their unideal existences.

We need to step up. We need to say no. We need to come together and create a new golden era. We will never experience what the 1970s-early 1990s gave, the authors and their work, but if we achieve one-forth of that... we will be in a better world.

We intelligent are letting the stupid rule the world. We need to to man-up and put this to an end.


I found this really disappointing, that a member of the HWA and a prolific author (even one who's novella was proclaimed "Book of The Year!" by the magazine he is a staff writer for...) but mostly what bothers me is the enthusiastic response he has received from other HWA members on Facebook (Note: I am not a member of the Horror Writers Association). So I wrote the following response from the perspective of an indie writer and horror writing fan... 


There have ALWAYS been crap books out there. Horror and every other form of genre fiction has more than it's share of complete turds in the pool. Lots of successful authors have a few clunkers in their catalogue. If we get elitist about it and say "You can't publish cos I hate vampire stories!" Then we are failing as writers and readers. Organisations like the HWA should be supporting anyone who wants to add their voice to the tumult of horror fiction. Everyone has their own interpretation and everyone has the right to give it a go. Yes, 90% of the books I have read this year have been steaming piles of shit. But I gave them a go, because I believe in giving everyone a chance. Some authors have made me roll my eyes and give up after a few chapters, but a few, a precious few, have taken me somewhere else and given me the chance to be totally entertained by what they have written. But if we prevent any one of those writers, the good and the shockingly awful, from practising their art, then we have failed them, we have failed the millions of readers that we all crave and worst of all, we have said, "There is no learning curve in writing horror. You either write EXACTLY what we write and as well as we THINK we write it, or get the fuck out." 
So what you are railing against is freedom for writers to develop their skills and find their voice. You are saying no matter how immature, or naive or full of your own self-worth you are, you are no where near as full of shit as we are.

If you want better reading material, support the developing writers who are writing complete shit to become better and to keep exploring and challenging the boundaries of the horror and dark fiction and spec fiction genres. A world where people who give it a go and fuck things up aren't allowed to learn and are banned from following their dreams by some Literati of self-absorbed horror critics is not the world I want to live in.

edited for edityness

7 comments:

ESH said...

Boo ya Paulie

Sean Wright said...

He sounds like a "troubled artist". The "on any fan fiction message board by bored housewives trying to escape their unideal existences" and " man-up" references had me in a fit.

Perhaps he needs to stop acting like a chest thumping teen, cut the misogyny and just keep writing.

And they wonder why Horror has a bad rep.

Nice considered response by you Paul.

C.W. LaSart said...

There are over 800 members in the HWA. You only saw a few support his sentiment. A handful of people railing on facebook do not represent the HWA.

Paul Mannering said...

I understand that C.W but it is the most public face of the HWA.

C.W. LaSart said...

If you will refer back to the post, I think you may be gratified by the comments from other members and the President himself. I could not agree more that this post was wrong, and worded in an offensive manner. I just hope you will not let a few people color your opinion as a whole. Happy Holidays to you!

Paul Mannering said...

I'm sure I won't. I have a huge amount of respect for Rocky Wood for a start. It is worth noting my comment and blog post were written well before the negative responses to the original post were showing up. I only had the few who started out agreeing to base my opinion on.

C.W. LaSart said...

I understand Paul. It was this blog post that made me comment on the rant. Many of us ignore those kind of posts, but when people start thinking we all feel that way, then we usually rise to the occasion ;)