Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Evie's Wordy Wednesday
On Ghosts

Everyone who knows me knows I have a fascination with ghosts. But not just any ghosts. The old-fashioned ones. The ones some people believe are real (yes, I believe in ghosts!). The ones who used to spook everyone, make the hairs rise on the backs of your necks. The ones that slam doors, move things. The ones you can only see sometimes, or maybe only their orbs.

Old-fashioned ghosts should make a comeback, don't you agree? And I think they are in aspiring writer world. I know quite a few writers who are wanting to tackle a ghost story. But, alas, published book world has yet to bring back the moans and fear and goose bumps ghosts should cause.

So, you want to tackle a ghost story? Ah, well, you want to know what type of ghosts you're going to want first.

Modern Ghosts?
I'd say nearly all YA ghost stories today fall from this category. If you're not going for the creepy/scary factor, then this is probably for you. Modern  day books with ghosts are usually paranormal romances, or the simple "my boyfriend/girlfriend/brother/sister/friend isn't dead, and she/he's back because she/he wants something done," or the "I died but now I'm alive" one. Modern ghosts are usually very commercial, as in they're pretty much alive...only dead. As in the ghost may be fully visible at all times to only one person. Or take Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley. Her main character dies in the beginning but then is "living." Some other modern ghost stories would be: Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready, Chasing Normal and I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder, and Wish by Alexandra Bullen.

Half-Modern, Half-Old-Fashioned?
That's what I like to call these types of books. Where the ghosts aren't too commercial, but the stories are modern. Also, what I put in this category is the types of ghosts that the main character doesn't know are dead. Take The Hollow by Jessica Verday. That book deals with ghosts. The MC meets someone, who she doesn't know is dead for quite some time. Or take Ruined by Paula Morris, a ghost story set in a graveyard. Old-fashioned-typed haunt, but the story is modern. Maybe even The Ghost Huntress series where the MC is a ghost hunter and she looks for real ghosts in haunted places. Personally, I don't mind these books, but I still want to see more...

Old-fashioned Ghosts?!
Oh yes, please! To be honest, I haven't read a YA book that I can recall that I would classify as an old-fashioned ghost story. To me, this is where the invisible ghosts belong. The ones even the MC can't see. Haunts, graveyards, old mansions, the whole lot. If you want to take on a story like this, your book may need to be more on the literary side. Make it feel more real. Research would be important. Check out ghost story movies or shows like Paranormal Investigators or Ghost Adventures.

Ghosts need to make a comeback! YA book world is craving something new besides the normal paranormal/supernatural novels. Creature, yeah, it's all been done. But old-fashioned ghost stories? I think not. I know I'm writing one as soon as I can, what about you?

And, thanks to brokenbone95, I'm giving you a writing prompt! Write me an old-fashioned ghost story, set in an old house. Make doors slam, goose bumps rise on your MC's arms, hairs rise on the back of his/her neck. Use this line somewhere, "This isn't/wasn't real. Ghosts aren't real." Scare me! Post below with your story, or post it on your blog or site! Remember to link back to The Treehouse Gang, if you do! Have fun!



Andromeda said...

You are an inspiration. I've always wanted to write a story about ghosts (the old fashioned kind) and girls in the Victorian era! But the Victorian Era is so boring. xD But it would be fun if you add a ghost into it...Hmmmmm.

Oh and I think one of the other kinds of ghosts that seem to be popular (whether in books or movies) are not really ghosts, but more demons. I find those kinds of ghosts the scariest, which is why I'd never write them. xD

~Androdmeda/brokenbone95~who had to take her real name off her account.

Libby said...

Gosh, I haven't read a good old-fashioned chills-down-your-spine ghost story in a while. (well, I haven't read a ghost story at all for a long time, but still)

I don't think I could pull off writing one myself, but your post makes me want to read one. =)

And I agree with Andromeda about the demons. I can handle a horror movie with evil serial killers and not break a sweat, but throw the Devil into it and I'm quaking in my seat. >.>

Though I think the demons in popular fiction tend to be more romantiszed....

Serena said...

Yay!!!! Thank you for your genius! :D
I'm actually writing a ghost story RIGHT NOW at this very minute, just like the old fashioned ones you were describing!!!!!