This week: Tales from the Wild Weird WestEdited by: Kate of House Targaryen
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All that I see or seem is but a dream within a dream.
Edgar Alan Poe
Never state an horror when it can be suggested.
Welcome to this week's edition of the WDC Horror and Scary Newsletter, where we explore the means of inciting horror with our words in verse and prose.
Greetings, fellow explorers of the unknown. We're exploring today an unmarked trail that, once past the brambles and tangled underbrush of legend and myth and our own lyric wit, we find ourselves circling our wagons, or perhaps blazing a trail.
Let's explore this wild untamed weird west. I've recently heard the term used to combine the Western genre with other genres, most often horror, occult or fantasy. Consider the premise of a horror story - engaging the unknown in its essence. Consider the tales of the wild wild west - engaging the unknown, exploring its essence, perhaps trying to tame it or merely understand it. Very similar premise, is it not?
Cowboys and gunfighters are iconic American heroes and using them as heroes in other genres is natural. Like tales of horror engaging terrifying beasts and otherworldly being, westerns use the themes of unknown wilderness and the survival of pioneers. Westerns also offer stories of struggles to maintain social order in a lawless environment - now can't you see yourself trying to corral a werewolf?
The western frontier was a vast unknown universe rife with myth and legend. Before the worldwide web and ipods, even before telegraph lines, news was carried overland by letter or oral retelling - and embellishment. The supernatural menaces of horror fiction are easy to inject into this setting, creating the horror western. The weird western uses both the supernatural elements and the western setting, maintaining the essential 'reality' of both.
Consider inserting your characters from today into the historical 'old west' as did Rod Serling in several of his 'Twilight Zone' episodes. Perhaps your characters drive their 'mustang' across a 'no trespassing' sign to find a ranch, abandoned but for some wild mustangs that greet not the characters but the horse upon which they arrive.
Consider the travelers in Stephen King's 'Dark Tower' series, returning to a western land that changes from year to year, morphing along with its inhabitants. Proving the western lands a natural place for writers of horror to camp for a spell and in the vast desert and prairies engage creatures both human and of other more esoteric ancestry and morphology.
The wild weird west also is a natural home for less easily classified genres including alternate history, speculative fiction and more fantastical elements of nature and science. And of course, engaging the unknown, there's ever a sense of presence, of being on edge, of your next step being over a cliff or through a crevasse and into a vast unknown populated by ...
Now it's your turn ~ embark on the trail and see where it leads through the wild weird west as seen through your eyes ~
Kate of House Targaryen
I invite you to explore the wild weird west envisioned by some of the members of our Community ~ in prose and in verse
Now, how about embarking on a journey in the 'old west' and taking up the challenge here here
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Thank you for this brief respite in the shelter of your home. Now I must head back out on the trail ~ who knows where it will lead, in what realm or time or reality ~ until we next meet,
Happy Writing Trails
Kate of House Targaryen
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