Monday, July 9, 2012

Writing Lovecraftian Weird Fiction

I love that image of a scene from "The Haunter of the Dark," which remains, to me, one of Lovecraft's perfect evocations of what has come to be known as Lovecraftian horror -- hoary age-old Gothic horror and infinite ageless Cosmic horror.  The writing of the story is particularly fine, and every time I return to it I am seduced by the witchery of that prose and the story it relates.  It's one of the peculiar things about being such an obsess'd H. P. Lovecraft fanboy -- when a story particularly charms me, I need to weave aspects of it into my own fiction.  Perhaps the Lovecraft story that has most inspired this act of borrowing in my own work is "Pickman's Model."  Often such borrowings merely reveal how poorly one has read Lovecraft's work, because you get things wrong.  I've written time and again about the haunted aura of the house where Wilbur Whateley was raised, not remembering that the house was completely and utterly destroyed in "The Dunwich Horror."  I've brought in aspects of "The Haunter of the Dark" to various things I've written, most recently in my novelette, "The Strange Dark One," whut will see it's first publication in my newest book this October; but I think, in that tale, I got some aspects of the darkened windows of the church incorrect. 

I keep returning to "The Haunter of the Dark," and am at this moment listening to a fascinating and rather eccentric reading of it by a British gent, from a download available at the Lovecraft eZine.  Such are the aches and passions aroused by this new encounter with the tale that I tremble -- aye, that's the word that best describes it -- with a desire to write my own "definitive" sequel to Lovecraft's tale.  It must be a Gothic Lovecraftian novelette set in Providence.  Thus do I listen to this audio rendition of the story with keen attention, the kind of intention that is a part of my writing process, a picking up of eldritch "signals" from Lovecraft's story that will inspire the ideas, the mood, the language of my own story.  Part of the ache to write this thing is knowing that I myself will haunt Providence again, next year, when NecronomiCon Providence 2013 takes place.  I must have the novelette written, perhaps even published, by then.  Perhaps I will write it near the end of this year and submit it to Ross Lockhart as an original story to The Book of Cthulhu III, should he desire to edit such a book.  This has become a total addiction, and feels like a very fan fiction aspect of my writing; but I really love it, getting all tangled into one of Lovecraft's tales and then writing my own "take" on it.

I now have 5,000 words of ye new Sesqua Valley novelette, a tale that is concern'd with Shub-Niggurath and ye Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young.  The story has taken on a life of its own and it evolving into something quite different from what I originally thought it would be.  I love it when that happens.


  1. Possible sequel story to "The Haunter of the Dark"? I tremble myself, in anticipation.

  2. A sequel to "The Haunter of the Dark" written by you would be a Lovecraftian dream come true!

  3. It will be a lot of work to write such a sequel, but I am up to it. I will want to incorporate Bloch's "The Shadow from the Steeple," and probably set the story in present time, so the church will have been destroy'd. But it will leave a certain monstrous aftermath of influence and cosmic horror.