Hey everyone! I have a couple things that I wanted to get community input on, so let’s get right to business.
First: When is summer break for most of you? Just like last year, I don’t want to reopen submissions until everyone is finished with final exams and all the other end-of-the-school-year business. If you guys are even a quarter as distraction-prone as I was during school, I figure it’s just better to not have “I need to get this story finished before submissions close!” as a temptation or excuse to put off studying. I’d appreciate some idea of when school lets out this year for most of you as well as when it starts back up at the end of summer. Thanks!
Second: Would anyone be interested in a summer “inspiration” book club in addition to or as a replacement to the monthly discussion posts? I’m not thinking of just reading famous scary books – more along the lines of having us read books together that could help inspire ideas for new Creepypastas. To be frank, a lot of the rejected pastas lately are being declined not because of poor writing, but because so many people are rehashing the same basic plots over and over. Mirrors, Jeff, Slenderman, dolls, etc. We’re seeing a lot of “haven’t I read this before?” in the comments and while sometimes it’s because the author has in fact posted their work elsewhere, often I think it’s just that the basic premise and tropes are being too frequently revisited to the point that these stories are running together for the people who consume a lot of Creepypasta.
I was thinking that we could read books together that, while not being outright or obviously horror, might serve to widen people’s pool of possible story inspirations. I know that might sound kind of weird, so here are some specific examples of what I’m talking about.
For example, Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer – it details the 1996 Everest disaster from the POV of someone who was actually there. The way I see it, readers could get a look into not only a real-life frightening/tense situation, but also exposure to how all the people the author was with reacted during the tragedy. There was a pretty wide range of reactions to the disaster amongst Krakauer’s team, and given how often we deal with trying to believably write people undergoing terrifying situations in our stories, it might be useful. Another example would be, perhaps, a book on cryptozoology or mythological monsters, to help people interested in creating the next big “creepypasta entity” some background on both what already exists out there as well as recurring themes that tend to be effectively frightening. Or maybe a book on supposed lost civilizations or conspiracy theories – you know, just broadening our knowledge of all the weird/interesting/creepy things that exist out there (even if it’s just legend or pseudoscience) to help try and jump-start the community as a whole out of the “mirrors, serial killers and Slenderman” rut that a lot of the aspiring writers seem to have fallen into lately.
I hope that gives a better idea of what I mean when I say that I would select the books for inspiration purposes rather than just having everyone read Stephen King or ghost story anthologies.
Obviously this would be pretty casual – probably just selecting and posting a book or two per month and giving you guys a post where you can discuss the ideas and themes that you’ve pulled from the book(s). No book reports or requirements to write a pasta based on that specific book or anything!
Does this sound like something any of you would be interested in seeing happen?
Thanks in advance if you weigh in on either of my questions!