Yes, I didn’t die.
No, I’m not suffering from anything terminal.
I’ve just been BUSY.

I won’t bore you with the long details. Anyway!
The Thinking Tank himself enlisted me to join his battle in defeating an evil entity from the future. I won’t lie, I just agreed because of the after-party victory jollof rice. Fam, I don’t even want meat.
Lol ok on a serious note, this is a post about my writing process and strategy and all that.
‘What writing process? You haven’t written a story in ages!’ You say.
Well, sharrap.
I have been and am writing. Just not blog stuff.
Let’s head to the FAQs:

1. What am I working on?

Personally, (and when I say personally I mean for myself), I’ve got two projects lined up. One is a collection of short horror stories I’ve written. They’ve been put up on this blog at one point or another in the span of about two years. What I’ve done though, (just in case you’re wondering why I’d make a collection of familiar stories) is I’ve re-written them; given them more length, depth and alternative endings in most I think. I’ve also added stories I haven’t put up here so there are new things to read eh?
The second thing I’m working on is a novella and no, not horror. My main focus while I’m writing this is creating something that can be used as a literature text in Nigerian schools at all levels.
I’ve been drawing strong inspiration from The classic African literature masters; Achebe, Chukwuemeka Ike, Okri, Ekwensi et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
I’ve kinda stalled on both projects admittedly but I do plan on kickstarting again this summer so pray for me sumimasen!

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I tend to tell myself I write in two genres: one, horror, and the second, the rest all jumbled up.
I’ll just answer this generally.
Sometimes, I don’t know how my work differs from your average horror or thriller because I read a lot of them and I know a lot of what I read leech into my writing. I cannot stop that. However, for how it differs, I’d say it’s in dialogue.
If you’ve read a lot of my stories you’d notice they do contain a lot of dialogue not just a straight run through. In these dialogues, I try to show the state of mind of the character speaking and it works somehow.
Also, I tend to not write happy stories, even when it’s supposed to be a lighthearted story. There is an underlying sadness in a lot of what I pen down (even my romance stories are sad, X for Ada eg) I don’t know why. I’ve just accepted that’s just me.
I’m not one for flowery languages or big words. So I write so that a layman would understand the gist of my tale without Google.
Now for my horror, I’m very keen on madness and the mind. A lot of my horror stories reflect this. I’m also big on creating powerful, psychotic female characters. This is not a feminist bid on my part, it’s just the way my thought process works. I genuinely believe women are scarier than men and so I allow my belief take preeminence in my stories.

3. Why do I write what I do?

I don’t know if I have a clear reason why I write a lot of disturbing things. Lol.
First is probably I’m influenced by what I read, naturally. Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Graham Masterton, Adam Neville etc. I also enjoy African literature even though I think I don’t read enough of them. Now, I’ve always wanted to merge these two ‘styles’. Horror in an African setting. The only book I’ve read that gave me a vague sense of this merger was The Bottled Leopard by Chukwuemeka Ike which still remains a personal fave of mine. Because I’m Igbo, it’s always easiest for me to make my characters Igbo so i can fully capture ethnicity in terms of culture and language.
When I was growing up, my sisters told me a lot of stories, scary stories. Igbo stories. Some passed down, some invented in their demented minds. Horror is an African genre. It’s in our folk tales. It’s in our art, Which is why the British museum have hidden our art in the basement! :’)
What I’m saying is that, this isn’t something new. It is just suppressed because religion and Da Blood! I cast and bind! Blah blah…
It’s just a story. They’re just stories. Or are they… Hehehe
I want to read more African inspired chillers and so I write them for my reading pleasure and for those who have the same appetite as I do.
My non horror stories, I write because sometimes I feel like proving I can be versatile. I don’t want to be stuck in a box. Or have my writing labelled under one concrete genre. I want to be like an amorphous substance; flowing, one molecule into the other.
I also extend my versatility to poetry, plays. Just because I can. I’m not the best at what I do but I don’t care because I enjoy it too much to make it about just being ‘best’.

4. How does my writing process work?

With a dialogue.
Seriously.
I do this thing where I run commentaries in my head. And hold conversations with different types of personalities in my head. And I stumble on that one dialogue that serves as a base to build up an enormous tale. Sometimes, the base isn’t solid and story ends up in my draft. other times, it makes the cut and ends up being told.
I tend to write as my Spirit directs, especially with short stories. I just write as I go, no plans. I find that having a plan restricts my imagination. I write and write till I get to an ‘end’. Then, i begin to edit and end up deleting half of what I got anyway! The editing phase is when I do my serious thinking, trying to make a story as plausible as I can. I mean I know it’s fiction but the beauty of the kind of stuff i write is making it so plausible, you believe it can happen (which most times, it can, but that’s a tale for another day)
When I have bigger projects, like my novella or working on a script for film, I do have an outline of what happens at every turn. I then fill up the outline with a corresponding story to match.
Then the additions and subtractions.
I type mostly but when I stumble on a good story in my head mentally and I’m maybe at work or in school, I go long hand.
Oh! I just remembered another novella in the making I’m writing by hand about cats. I wonder where I kept it… :-/

Anyway guys, that is all from me!
To pass this baton given to me, I’d introduce the next person writing about his own Writing Journey!
You all know him well, he’s no stranger to Phantom Pages.
Edgothboy! One of my favourite writers.
Eddie is an alumnus of the 2011 Farafina Trust Writing Workshop. He has called himself an amateur writer (Smh), cheerleader of the greats and a Melissa Bank groupie.
He blogs at PTS

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That’s all folks!
I’ll try write more, no promises.
If you want to ask any more questions, please feel free!