I’ve been knocking out a thousand plus words a day for about a week now, and I finally finished one of my works in progress. It comes in at 49,300 words, just shy of fifty thousand. Which makes it a short horror novel.
If you read some of my “Ideas” posts a while back, you might remember one that described how I read a Bryan Smith novel called Last Day and sort of decided that I’d do something inspired by it. In Smith’s novel, an asteroid is streaking toward Earth, and life as we know it is about to end. Smith focuses on the removal of restraints from the worst segment of the population and the evil that they’ve wanted to do, but couldn’t because of the fear of punishment.
I took his idea but in my take, the Moon’s orbit has somehow become unstable, and it is spiraling inward towards an inevitable collision with Earth. And I also look at the removal of restraints from the worst people, people who keep their secrets well. A serial killer who thinks he’s a werewolf heads the cast of baddies. But there’s an ex-husband who’s pissed about a subpoena that he’s been served with by the ex-wife, looking for more money. There’s a bar patron who happens to be in his local hangout when the news breaks and the drunks who hang out after the less hard-core drinkers leave. And there’s a dad who’s a child molester, one who’s been stopped by his oldest daughter from preying on her and her younger sister.
There are good people, too. Sean, the boyfriend of the girl who was molested by her dad, is a good one. Andres, his friend, is another good one. Dr. Jessica Stewart, a scientist at the local University, is good, as are her graduate students.
And of course, there’s gray area for some folks.
It has the feel of an apocalyptic tale, one where humanity has to prepare for a disaster, but it’s a horror novel at its core, with the horrors being from the evil that humans can do to each other.
While it owes a debt to Bryan Smith’s novel, it’s really not much like it.
I’m going to start doing a first rewrite soon, but I need a little bit of distance, so I’m setting it aside and going back to work on something else. What, you may ask? I’m not sure. I’ll see what grabs me and drags me along for the ride.