Today I am writing to talk to you about a novel by Ray Bradbury, it was published in 1962 and tells the story about two 13 year old friends who have a terrifying encounter with a passing carnival. I am of course, talking about Something Wicked This Way Comes.
For those of you up on your Shakespeare you’ll recognise the title as a line from Macbeth, spoken by the witches.
This book has an interesting backstory, as it was not written as a book initially, it started out life as a short story, which Bradbury turned into a film treatment for Gene Kelly, but when no studio would purchase the treatment Bradbury (over a five year period) turned it into a novel. A transformative past if ever there was one.
Magic is … well magical, it can bring an element of excitement and otherworldly power into any story.
Magic appears in all kinds of fantasy stories, be they high fantasy, urban fantasy or gothic fantasy. I personally really enjoy fantasy stories that are set in the ‘real’ world, I love the idea that there’s more to our own world than we know and that if you scratch beneath the surface there’s a whole other way of life, be it terrifying or exciting.
Today I am writing to you about writing magic when your story is set in the ‘real’ world.
Today I want to share something a bit fun with you.
I talk a lot about how Horror is a flexible genre, lending itself to novels, comics, games, and films. I’ve also talked at length before about how the internet has created an awesome new outlet for horror in the form of Creepypastas, like digital urban legends or campfire stories for the modern age.
One of my favourite spooky things the internet has created is the SCP Foundation.
For those who don’t know the SCP Foundation is an online creative writing project with hundreds of contributors. It borrows from Horror, Sci-fi and Fantasy (probably why I love it so much) and tells the story (in the form of reports, interviews, logs etc) of the SCP Foundation, SCP standing for Secure, Contain, Protect. The Foundation Secures and Contains individuals, entities, locations, and objects that have anomalous properties E.G: they are bloody strange or cause strange/supernatural/unexplained things to happen when you encounter them.
Some SCP’s are funny, some are sad, some are interesting and some are downright terrifying. It’s absolutely marvellous and if you’ve not experienced it yet, I strongly recommend you do.
That being said, it can be a tricky universe to break into, as there’s an awful lot of it and it’s hard to know where to begin.
But never fear, for I have come today with a wonderful little gem.
A manga knows as Oversimplified SCP, it’s adorable even when it’s telling the story of The Shy guy (not something I thought possible before).
This is a great way to experience the SCP universe for the first time (or the millionth time) as it gives a little taster in an easily digestible format.
I recently wrote to you about the clichés in the horror genre, it was fun to write and so I thought I might have a look at the clichés in another genre that I like to dabble in. That being Fantasy. Fantasy stories are full of clichés, so much so that it would take far longer than I have to discuss all of them (that and I’m sure you’d get bored are the first eighty).
So today, I want to discuss my top fantasy cliché, but as I am limiting the amount I’ll talk about I thought I’d talk about the biggest cliché in the genre (in my humble opinion) rather than any of my personal pet peeves (which can be obscure at times).