Getting into the NaNo state of mind

As October winds down to make way for the writing fervor associated with November, I am keeping myself busy with outlining, and seeking things that will help me get into the mindset. Considering I am going to be working in the supernatural thriller subsection of the horror genre, naturally I’m looking at things like movies and music to set the tone. I thought I’d talk about what I’m looking at right now. Every little bit helps.

I had crafted a story-specific playlist for the story some months ago. It consists of every ‘spooky’ song I had in my library. This list includes Rockwell’s ‘Somebody’s Watching Me’, ‘Disturbia’ by Rihanna and, because it’s funny, Ray Parker Jr’s ‘Ghostbusters.’ But it will be the music of Silent Hill 2 that fuels this NaNo.


As someone who played multiple Resident Evil titles, I’m a little surprised I haven’t had the chance to play any of the games. I have a lot of friends who have said the series is good overall (there are a few duds but then again, RE has those too). I do know the game deals more with psychological horror, so its music reflects that. I tell you, I was listening to it while outlining and damn, I could not have made a better choice. It succeeded in making me flinch or look around at every little sound I heard. The stuff I have planned for Gabriel and Co. will need me to be totally immersed. Have a listen for yourself.

Inspiration on the movie front comes from many sources. While I am huge fan of the CW’s Supernatural, it doesn’t necessarily provide the sort of realistic character reaction to hauntings. Gabriel is more like Cole from The Sixth Sense (I am having Evelyn refer to him as ‘Haley’ in the story); that sense of fear, helplessness and uncertainty is apparent during my planned flashbacks. Maria is his Bruce Willis counterpart, though she’s hindering as much as she’s helping him. The Others is great, too. And I can’t forget The Woman In Black, either. Now that movie scared me, but I will watch it over the ones I mention below.

And then there are the titles that scare the hell out of me.

Okay, I am the first person to admit I can be downright cowardly when it comes to thrillers. Mirrors scared me so much (I have a thing about mirrors anyway, since I grew up in a haunted house) that I refuse to watch it now. Forget about The Exorcist and the Poltergeist movies. Sure, both have cheesy special effects, but it’s not what scares me. It’s the psychological part of it. This is why Gabriel will have such a huge crack in his psyche. The stuff he has seen and done, what he still can see and do, it’s enough to send anyone off the deep end. Watching the documentary, My Amityville Horror, has really helped me to understand how Gabriel will present himself to outsiders. It’s led to the decision that he will have been in and out of therapy, and that he keeps in touch with someone from the field. If he couldn’t talk about all he can do with someone who knows the deal, I probably would be writing this story about his ghost.

Getting back to movies: I have a love/hate relationship with Insidious. The movie is brilliantly written, has a great atmosphere and there’s always a sense of real helplessness. Though I don’t know how soon I’ll sum up the courage to watch it again. I just watched the trailer and got chills. Good to know I will be terrified right along with my characters. Immersion is necessary if I want to convey how things are in my setting. The vengeful ghost has left such a deep scar on the area it haunts, everyone suffers from negative emotions. There will be spats. There will be death threats. There will be close calls. And I am so very psyched to get started. 

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