Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cthulu Mythos, Writing, and Why Lovecraft is My Homeboy

I just finished my chronological outline for my novel. I've had a few false starts already, but lacked knowledge of "where it was going" and hit dead ends. I think this is the first time I really have a clear picture of an ENTIRE book in my head. When I was in college and writing chapters of different novels for different creative writing classes, I had a lot of ideas but not a lot of direction. I almost fell into that trap again.

The man and his creation.*
Recently, I read At the Mountains of Madness by H. P. Lovecraft. The man is a genius and I don't care if you don't like his paragraph sentences. I relish every word. So I had Lovecraft on the brain, and while researching what an Old One might have looked like, I came across this short little article written by Lovecraft himself called Notes on Writing Weird Fiction.

It wasn't anything particularly brilliant. It was simple. Too simple. But in a way, that's what made it so decidedly useful to me.

I've been overwhelmed with tons of information about writing lately. It's too much to process. But I like this Lovecraft  dude. And his advice isn't pretentious or overly wordy either (surprising cause the man loves his descriptions). It helped me. A lot.

It's the reason I have this first outline done now. What started as a dream that rattled me one night is now something tangible. My next step is to flesh out my characters some more. Then I'll do a few chapter outlines, and I think I'll actually get started on this thing. For reals this time.

*Picture stoled from here: http://www.rehupa.com/?p=1966


  1. If you enjoyed "At the Mountains of Madness", check out:

    Cool Air
    The Horror at Redhook
    Herbet West - Reanimator
    Pickman's Model

    The Ballantine collections are all very nice.

  2. YES. On my to read list. Thank you.

  3. I've never read any Lovecraft, but I was thinking of reading some of his stuff as part of a challenge I'll be doing next month.  What would you recommend starting with?

  4. Grace,

    I would recommend checking out an anthology of his short stories and go from there. Some of the classics that you should probably read first are:

    The Call of Cthulu
    The Dunnwich Horror
    The Shadow Over Innsmouth

    Let me know how you like them! What is your challenge going to be about?

  5. The challenge won't start until September.  Carl from Stainless Steel Droppings runs the RIP Challenge (Readers Imbibing Peril) each fall that focuses on mystery, suspense, gothic, horror, etc.  I was thinking Lovecraft might be a great place to start, and that I should pick up something by him before Borders closes.  :P  Thanks for the recommendations!


Please leave a comment.

Subscribe by Email

Netgalley Badges

Professional Reader Frequently Auto-Approved