Over 200,000 people swarm the sunny San Diego Convention Center to see panels on their favorite shows/movies/comic/etc, buy exclusive merchandise, meet celebrities, wear awesome costumes and overall revel in their geekery.

And in 2012, I got to be included in that.

Thanks to some great friends, one of whom (so far) has a character named after him, I was able to get tickets (because he stood in line at 6am to buy them at 2011 Comic Con – dedication!).

The list of things to do is long and varied and after I studied the brochure, I structured my visit all about novel writing and getting published.

Due to a series of unfortunate events, I had to miss the first day, but jumped right in the next morning!


How to Write More Terrifying Stories

I chose this panel because one of my favorite authors, Mark Z. Danielewski, was there.

He wrote this book. If you haven’t read this book, you need to go to a book seller immediately – local, chain, online, I don’t care – and get this book. Scary. Awesome. Unique.


I didn’t recognize any of the other authors and the one thing I took away from the panel was an interesting thought on monsters.

There are old monsters and new monsters. Old monsters from the Old Country – vampires, werewolves, ghosts, etc – versus New Monsters from the New Country – serial killers/psychopaths.

Their take is that America doesn’t have the deep folklore of fairy tales. That what we have, what is unique to our country, is Jason Vorhees, the Ghostface Killer, the guy from the Saw movies. Pyschopaths and Serial Killers.

I don’t know how I feel about this distinction, and I don’t have enough knowledge on the subject to refute it or agree with it, but it is an intersting topic that stuck with me more than a lot of other things.

Although no one directly addressed the panel topic of how to actually make your writing more terrifying, I still found it interesting. They all agreed that it doesn’t take a warped mind or a devistating childhood to write scary stuff, and it doesn’t have to leave the author in perma-depression. That’s like saying Romance novelists are all addicted to sex. That’s not how it works and only writing more will make your work better.



To Be Continued…