Inspiration for Horror Writers

Are you familiar with the fickle fey-beast that whispers devilries in your ear at the worst possible opportunity? Like when you’re showering, and it offers you the idea for a quadrilogy that hinges on a particularly nuanced plot point that your sleep-addled brain can’t write down in soap and hope to retain as your hopes and dreams spiral down to the nothingness of the drain clotted with hair and scum?

Muses are jerks. My muse, however, is a very hungry jerk.

It struck up occupancy in the dining room of my mind a while back, and every so often it claims it won’t do the work unless I put food on the table. Insatiable little shit. Sometimes it even needs to be spoon fed because its stubby fingers can’t cram the stuff I’m giving it into its face fast enough.

Feeding the monster

I believe that muses are hungry creatures with the attention span of an easily-distracted two year old that can be derailed at the slightest opportunity. My muse is a bottomless pit. It craves a mountain of inspirational input to ensure it’s steady onward plod towards the light at the end of a very long, very dark tunnel:

Dark culture, mythology, folklore, paranormal research, local legends, Fortean fringe history, anomalous phenomena, dark artwork, occult lore, haunted objects, haunted places, haunted people, supernatural phenomena, death studies, taphology — it wants it all.

This post is a tasting menu of the things I’m offering the little beast on the regular.

A note on my workflow

More than a few times recently I’ve been asked for a peek at my writing inspiration stash. I’ve learned that when you’re following over a thousand people on Twitter, it’s hard to parse the constant input, so I ended up extracting a handful of my favourite sites that I use regularly to get the muse working and threw them into my RSS reader. (I use Feedly.) My favourite outtakes end up in the Collection of Curiosities series. I use Pocket to save the articles that I really enjoyed, and the stuff that ends up in my writing gets imported to my draft in Scrivener. Those articles are linked to whatever character or setting or plot point that uses it. I then forget about it until much later when I’m trying to figure out what originally birthed the idea, and I need to review the reference.

The list below feeds my practice when I’m writing dark fiction. I hope you find them useful.

I’m deeply indebted to many of these sites as the ideas they’ve inspired have ensured that the muse-monster hasn’t yet begun to snack on my brain as a reasonable substitute.

Inspiration for Horror Writers

Collecting Fortean, taphological, bizzarre, macabre, and wonderful links from around the web. Truthfully, you don’t need to be a horror writer to appreciate any of this stuff. These links are for the darkly-minded, macabre, and sinister, as well as the curious, skeptical, speculative, and delightfully dreary enthusiasts out there.

It goes without saying that some of the content might be unsettling those with sensitive dispositions, so proceed with a modicum of caution. I’ve added descriptions from each site to give you a better idea of what you’re in for before you get all click-happy. (There’s nothing overtly grotesque in this list — at least not by my measure. I’m not into gore-porn and I don’t derive any sort of stimulation from looking at murder scenes or corpses on the regular. There are, however, topics dealing with anatomy that might make a couple of people wibble a bit.)




* If the link uploader is being wonky, please let me know in the comments. It’s a new feature that is intended to send your suggestions to my moderation queue, but I’m still tinkering with it. Thanks!

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  • […] it, I compiled an ever-growing resource post of the places that inform these collections. Check out Inspiration for Horror Writers if you want more articles like […]

  • […] I compiled an ever-growing resource post of the places that inform these collections. Check out Inspiration for Horror Writers if you want more articles like […]

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