Introducing: Dryden Nightmares

I just keep getting involved in more writing projects and stories. Here’s the newest one: Dryden Nightmares.

What is Dryden Nightmares?

Dryden Nightmares is a shared horror universe for authors and artists, based on the Creative Commons 4.0 BY-SA. Essentially, we’re building a framework for creators to expand upon–to tell stories as a community, by sharing, mixing, and transforming our work in whatever way fuels our passions. This is the beginning of our vision, a look into a universe where fear, corruption, and death permeate all things. We’re going to explore this monster as a team, using Creative Commons as a tool to allow everyone a share of the action.

The horror genre holds as much diversity as any other, which is why we’re letting our imaginations go insane with this new shared universe. Want to write about paranormal investigators or serial killers? You can do that. Maybe you’re interested in drawing portraits of ugly creatures from a hell dimension? This is definitely a good fit for you then. We made the decision to build a setting with a near-infinite number of worlds inside of it–so whatever your nightmare is, there’s some shady realm where it can take up residence. If it’s horror, there’s room for it in Dryden Nightmares.

The Creative Commons 4.0 BY-SA seems like a complicated thing based on its name. Here’s what it means: anything licensed under Creative Commons 4.0 BY-SA is available to anyone for the purposes of sharing and adapting. There are two rules: always give credit to the original work, and any contributions made must also be distributed under the same license.

What does that mean, really?

Eugene Kelly is in the process of laying down some of the major components of Dryden Nightmare, developing the foundational mythology of it all. He’s written a great teaser for some of these elements, describing several important figures and places within the setting, and also offering sense of how these pieces tie into the whole.

I have several ideas for stories and worlds that I plan on exploring through Dryden Nightmare. At least two of these will have ties to what Eugene is working on already, and likely more in the future. And anyone else can do the same thing, which is part of what makes the Creative Commons model such an amazing asset to creators.

How many authors and artists will be involved with Dryden Nightmares in the future? I have no idea! There’s no limit to how expansive it might become.

We can build something larger than the sum of its parts. Our ideas only set the stage for what Dryden Nightmares can be in the future, because it is a dynamic fictional universe made from the collective, cooperative efforts of everyone involved. Or not, if that’s the way you prefer to work. As more and more material gets added to the universe, some of it will be considered canon and some will not. That doesn’t mean people need to limit their efforts based on existing works.

If you have an idea for a story that doesn’t fit into the canon of Dryden Nightmares, you’re still free to write it and publish it on your own. Because The Dryden Experiment is all about helping authors and artists, you can count on support from others with promoting your work, whether or not they have any stake in the profits.

This is an opportunity for everyone to delve into the dark parts of their minds, pull out two big handfuls of whatever substance comes unstuck, and chuck it into the big nightmare pile. I’m already elbow deep, just trying to grab something a bit more substantial before I haul it out and reveal whatever disturbing mass I’ve found.

If you’re interested in joining the conversation and/or becoming a contributor, here’s the Facebook group:

Or, if you’d like to ask me about it first and get some idea of what it is we’re building, feel free to contact me. Leave a comment here, find me on Facebook/Twitter, or email:

I’ll be coming back here soon to tell you about the new stories I’m working on for Dryden Nightmares, as well as giving updates on all my other unfinished projects. I’m very excited to be a part of this, because horror has always been one of my favorite genres to read and write. There’s plenty to tell, I only need to carve out a chunk of time to put my thoughts down. And maybe, if I can get my shit together, I’ll start posting on this blog regularly…

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