An idea to me is as entrancing as a golden apple with the words “To The Fairest” scratched over its skin. I’ll drop everything and pick it up, marveling over the firm flesh, the sweet smell and wondering what it would taste like on my tongue.
Maybe that’s why I have so many unfinished projects.
The idea I had was brought on by a daydream I had and a memory of an odd thing from a magazine. The daydream was of looking up at the night sky and seeing the stars disappear one at a time as if someone was putting out candles. I think I had watched a documentary about the end of time or something like that. The memory was of something in the old Dragon Magazine (I don’t remember where I saw it, if you can find it – drop me a line what issue it was featured in, it’s been driving me crazy!) about a dragon so large, it swallowed whole worlds. Under treasure type, it just had the word ‘planets’. So, while a t work today, I put those two images in my mind togetr – stars going out and a dragon large enough to swallow the Earth. What I got was a Lovecraftian horror idea that I must bring to fruition.
One staple of Lovecraftian horror is the One Cursed with Knowledge. This person has seen the truth of the world, and it’s driven him past all sanity. Sam Neil’s character in In The Mouth of Madness is a good example. Usually, this is one of the side characters, so we only get half the story.
What if it was the main character that was being driven mad?
What if he was right?
My mind was off and running. I needed a good way for the dragon to feed, some way nice and slow so that the characters would think they have time and hope, but to be able to jerk that hope away in the last chapter.
Worms. Another little vision came to me: clumps and knots of squirming worms wearing human skin like a suit. They walk among us, spreading their kind about to consume the world down to the very bedrock and send those nutrients to the dragon. This is fantasy – I don’t have to explain it any more than that (Thank God. My browser history has taken enough of a beating from Valentina). The main character is the only one who can see the worms for what they really are.
This poor guy. This story is going to be so bleak, it would have Howard Phillip telling me to cheer up.
On the way home, I tried to figure out the sub-genre. Swords and Sorcery would be good, but there was no way they could defeat this sort of creature the way I had it imagined. It didn’t feel right. I thought about pulp fiction and that clicked. Forbidden magic, minds going mad from the revelation, flights to lost cities – this was the perfect thing.
So, I need to do a little more research. I want to really nail the feel and style for Lovecraftian horror. The best way to do this is by looking around for a style guide on the Internet. TVtropes.org has a good one, but I want to get the nuts and bolts down. With that in mind, I’ll need to read some pulps. Lovecraft, for obvious reasons, and maybe some Robert E. Howard since he was a contemporary of Lovecraft.
When am I going to start writing it? Not for a while I’m afraid. This year is already filled with assignments, so it’s going to 2023 when I finally put fingers to keyboard to get the first draft out, but I am going to get the outline and research done long beforehand.