By Elvira Stoltey and Ghoulie Luek
This time of year brings out ghosts, goblins, and spooky apparitions. Of course we writers, often the creators of such paranormal specters, stare down spooks and fanged creatures knowing they are but a backspace stroke away from their demise.
While we may show bravado with the monstrous muses of our stories, we are reduced to huddling, whimpering masses, invoking incantations of protection, when it comes to…
The Writers’ Top Ten Halloween List of Frights
10. The posts that flop.
If you maintain a blog, you no doubt have lived in healthy fear of the post that sits in lonely silence, resonating with no one except the crickets chirping in a lonely chorus.
9. Publications fade into oblivion before payment or publishers crash and burn before your book is released.
Freelance writing is filled with many perils including the constant threat of poverty. Unfortunately, the untimely demise of a publication for which you’ve signed a contract and submitted an article, does nothing to alleviate this dread. For novelists or nonfiction authors, there’s always that fear a publisher will go out of business somewhere in the process. Just try to get your rights back when that happens.
8. There are no good ideas left.
Vampires have fallen in love and been slain. Worlds have been created and evil empires defeated. Love has conquered all. Wizards, aliens, 4th dimensions and invisible forces have triumphed for good and evil. Elephants, tigers, and wolves have shown us how to be human and face our dark sides. Civilizations have risen and fallen. Bustier clad women with heaving bosoms and men with Fabio hair have shared passion. Corpses have faced autopsies, shifty criminals jailed, and mysteries solved by unrelenting sleuths. Fifty Shades has been written.
What’s left? A fearsome question we answer every time we pull up the blank page.
7. Every beta reader and critique partner hates your manuscript.
Shivers. ‘Nuff said.
No. No thanks. Interesting, but not for us. We can’t use this idea at this time. It doesn’t fit our issue needs right now. Ha, seriously!? Maybe you need to seek another career option.
5. Ugly Reviews
They happen. You dread them. You swear you won’t read them. You read them anyway. And you feel like dog poop for the rest of the day (week).
4. The unintentional mistake that gets you banned from your own website, blog, or favorite social media site.
This can be as simple as a mean person marking your update as offensive or your tweet as spam, just because.
3. The book signing that no one attends.
There you stand behind your table, all alone, sampling the chocolate you brought to entice readers to approach, talk to you, and buy your book. Soon you sit, pull the bowl of chocolate closer, and eat it all. You feel so lonely. So sad.
2.The brilliant idea that comes too late.
Your final draft is finished when you discover another author has beaten you to the draw and produced a work very similar to yours. He has already signed a contract with a publisher.
1. The computer crash that comes just before you back up your files for the first time since you started your new novel, 50,000 words ago.
This is the one that makes you cry.