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Lovecraft Syndrome

August 23, 2012

I’ve learned something over the past few weeks. It seems I can’t write anything (fiction) related to H.P. Lovecraft without adopting some sort of strange adaptation of his voice.

If you’ve never read Lovecraft, here’s a gem:

When I drew nigh the nameless city I knew it was accursed. I was traveling in a parched and terrible valley under the moon, and afar I saw it protruding uncannily above the sands as parts of a corpse may protrude from an ill-made grave. Fear spoke from the age-worn stones of this hoary survivor of the deluge, this great-grandfather of the eldest pyramid; and a viewless aura repelled me and bade me retreat from antique and sinister secrets that no man should see, and no man else had dared to see.
—H.P. Lovecraft, The Nameless City

Don’t get me wrong—Lovecraft is a classic horror author, and worth reading if you like the genre. But be prepared for flowery, tedious prose. The only person ever who should write like Lovecraft is Lovecraft himself.Via Dominique Signoret, Wikimedia Commons

I have tried all month to write a short story for this month’s (Lovecraft-themed) issue of Insomnia Press, and each time I’ve given up, disgusted. Apparently, as soon as I get into “Lovecraft mode,” I can’t shake it. In the end, combating my tendencies towards weighty purple prose (that are completely exclusive to this sort of project), I ended up with something more like a diary entry, ripe with lots of telling, not showing. I submitted it, because I really love the super cheesy idea I came up with, but I feel like I committed a crime to the literary world.

Very strange.

That is all.


From → General Advice

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