Comedy, Romance and Nightmares…..oh my!!!!


A while ago I wrote a piece on finding old stories in my computer files.

It was a situation I am sure many of you have experienced. It is amazing all of the things we find and those that survive.

The story that I found was supposed to be a scary old thing. At the time I was convinced I would be a horror writer.

I had just finished back to back Stephen King books – Salem’s Lot and IT. So it was natural in my thinking that I would follow his path.


An Unexpected Twist

What I didn’t realize at the time was that the genre picked me, not the other way around. I don’t know about you but having the genre do the choosing feels natural as if there’s no other way.

But something strange happened last year that puzzled me. I submitted a horror short story to my writer’s group that I wrote at the same time I was writing my romantic/comedy novel.

To my pleasant surprise it scared some of the members of my group. Come to think of it, it kind of scared me to. Especially after our meeting when I walked across a dark and lonely parking lot.

Scary 2

I was advised to enter it in contests, especially during the Halloween season. I finally did and I hope to enter it in a few more.

This leads me to a question: Why are all of my short stories horror driven while my novels are not?


Do I scare ‘em or not…..

Scary 1

I have given up trying to understand how we come up with our ideas. I have also given up why we pick the genres, or in my case, the genre picking me.

I could never write a horror novel. It might have to do with empathy towards the characters or maybe I hate to scare people. Especially in those empty parking lots.

But if you give me a short story something happens. My goal is to put a fright in you that’s so bad you’ll never dangle your feet over the bed again. I’ll guarantee every light in your house will be on.

But if you ask me to write a novel I’ll have you laughing and crying at the same time. My goal is to make you smile.

Does this apply to others? Can some of you turn a switch and immediately become a different writer? How many of us are Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde via pen and paper?


Something Lurking behind the Screen Door

It’s becoming clear this path I took is a mysterious one. There will be places along that path where funny moments and happy endings welcome every step.

But if I turn a corner and take a sharp right I’ll be your worst nightmare.

A part of me says I should drop short stories but another suggests I continue with a different name. A secret identity if you will.

This Jekyll and Hyde thing is becoming more and more real.

Whatever happens I do know this: The creative mind is full of mysteries where many of the answers will never be found. And you know what? I’m glad.

Sometimes we don’t need to know everything.

Scary 3


30 thoughts on “Comedy, Romance and Nightmares…..oh my!!!!

  1. Aren’t you lucky that your writing journey is so interesting?
    With twists and turns and spooky corners you need never get bored.
    Personally I am all for the comedy/romance kind of thing .
    It’s good you can do various genres.
    It’s really good to be versatile.


  2. Can’t say I’ve tried different genres (I don’t think my writer brain works that way). Totally agree with not trying to work out where stories come from though. Also, you’re going to have let me read this horror story of yours to back up your scary claims 😋😅.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s really interesting that your creative-mind works this way. Versatility is important. I’ve never completed a novel, but every time I sit down to write, the words come from a dark place (or end up in one). They may not all be horror in a rigid sense, but they all have a common element of darkness. In that way, I also feel like the genre “chose” me, and continues to. I don’t know that my brain could sustain a novel-sized story that didn’t, at some point, end up in the shadows. Thanks for sharing!


  4. i can be two different writers: church newsletters, sports stories, and the like vs zombie apocalypse and banshees. i just figure it’s wise to keep one separate from the other. I follow Sarra Conner who keeps things separate by using a pen name. i’m unpublished (except articles and stuff), so I don’t have to worry about pen names, but I keep the scary stuff in the novel length I enjoy so much, and the other stuff in totally different, short, mostly-free venues. Never the readers of the twain shall meet.


  5. Priscilla – You nailed it. Never the readers of the twain shall meet. That’s my motto. If I continue this trend of mine I will be forced to add a different name.

    Thank you!!!!


  6. I think some of us can go between genre’s Bryan. I have five published children’s picture books, 1 middle school book, one fictionalised biography for YA’s and now I am writing horror. When I get this latest book out of my system, I will try something else. BTW I also write poetry.


  7. Robbie, you have done it all and I have a feeling you’ve only scratched the surface. That is amazing and at the same time I am not surprised. I’ve read your work. It’s top notch.


  8. I’m not lucky enough to have written the Great American Novel yet but I did a little switcheroo within my blog this week. My usual “all about nature” posts were forsaken briefly to wax nostalgic about the past and to inject a little humor and creepiness in a special Halloween post. It’s always good to expand your horizons. 🙂


  9. I hadn’t thought about it until I read your post, but it made me realize that my short stories are also horror stories. I’ve written a couple published on Slasher Monster Magazine. I guess it’s my little reverie from poetry.


  10. Sounds like a fantastic reaction from your writer group! That’s the feeling we all love, and want, to get from our peers. I’ve noticed that I have a slightly different voice with my short stories. I felt compelled to tweak it a bit to be more in line with how I write my longer manuscripts. But after reading your post, here, I may consider embracing the differences and just let it be. Side bar: I wonder what would happen if Stephen King wrote romantic comedies. *giggling at the thought* Or does he, and I’m unaware? Hmm…


  11. Hi Rene!

    Funny you should mention King and romance. Three books come to mind where romance is involved: The Stand, IT and Needful things. I thought he did a really good job.

    When it comes to writing short stories I think we are more relaxed and honest with our writing. It’s short so we have to get to the point and by getting to the point we are able to expose the core of our actual voice.

    Thank you for stopping by.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love the idea of just letting it happen rather than trying to figure out why it happens. I love that you have both a horror and a comedy romance writer your head! You so often help me see the possibilities, Bryan! My poetry tends to about pretty sad stuff, in my prose, I am often attracted to writing about the bizarre, and the one short story I have written in the past 2 decades is a departure from the bleak, a journey into color and hope. The creative mind is definitely an interesting place to reside when we allow ourselves to. Thank you for another wonderful post, Bryan!!!!


  13. Good morning, Susan. Thank you for the kind words.

    Whatever you write, embrace it. That magical wonder has chosen you. That’s special. Imagine a puppy or a kitten choosing you in a shelter. You wouldn’t dream of pushing it away. Same applies to our stories.

    They chose us.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Interesting to see your process! Mine’s quite different, and involves not-quite-visible people showing up and telling me their stories. I’m trying to get myself out of the way and just let them talk. It’s … challenging.


  15. Sounds like we’re opposites! All of the novels I’ve worked on always take a turn into horror, even if I wasn’t planning them to turn out that way. On the other hand, several of my short stories turn out to be contemporary without a trace of the macabre. I even wrote a children’s story which won a short story competition, lol. Think it just means we’re well balanced, right 🙂


  16. When I beta read your book you had me completely fooled. I was convinced it was headed in one direction when suddenly it took a turn that I never saw coming. In a way your book has all of the elements you just described.


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