In this comprehensive textbook devoted to the craft of writing horror fiction, award-winning author Tim Waggoner draws on thirty years’ experience as a writer and teacher. Writing in the Dark offers advice, guidance, and insights on how to compose horror stories and novels that are original, frightening, entertaining, and well-written.
Waggoner covers a wide range of topics, among them why horror matters, building viable monsters, generating ideas and plotlines, how to stylize narratives in compelling ways, the physiology of fear, the art of suspense, avoiding clichés, marketing your horror writing, and much more. Each chapter includes tips from some of the best horror professionals working today, such as Joe Hill, Ellen Datlow, Joe R. Lansdale, Maurice Broaddus, Yvette Tan, Thomas Ligotti, Jonathan Maberry, Edward Lee, and John Shirley. There are also appendices with critical reflections, pointers on the writing process, ideas for characters and story arcs, and material for further research.
Writing in the Dark derives from Waggoner’s longtime blog of the same name. Suitable for classroom use, intensive study, and bedside reading, this essential manual will appeal to new authors at the beginning of their career as well as veterans of the horror genre who want to brush up on their technique.
|Publisher:||Raw Dog Screaming Press|
|Product dimensions:||7.50(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.50(d)|
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION • Thomas F. Monteleone
PREFACE: ENTER FREELY AND OF YOUR OWN WILL
Part One: Why I Write Horror.
Part Two: Why Do I Want to Help You Write Horror?”
VOICES FROM THE SHADOWS
CHAPTER ONE: WHY HORROR MATTERS
Why Horror is a more important genre than most people think.
CHAPTER TWO: THINGS UNKNOWN
What’s that thing lurking in the shadows?
CHAPTER THREE: EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS WRONG
Horror comes from a violation of reality.
CHAPTER FOUR: HELLO DARKNESS, MY OLD FRIEND
Like ice cream, Horror comes in many different flavors.
CHAPTER FIVE: STRANGE NOTIONS
Where do you get your weird ideas?
CHAPTER SIX: DONE TO DEATH
How to avoid cliches and write original horror fiction.
CHAPTER SEVEN: WHERE NO MONSTER HAS GONE BEFORE
How to build a better monster.
CHAPTER EIGHT: THE HORROR WRITER’S PALETTE
Using Dread, Terror, Horror, Shock, and Disgust in your writing.
CHAPTER NINE: THE HORROR HERO’S JOURNEY
Horror fiction’s version of the Hero’s Journey and how to use it to generate ideas and plot stories.
CHAPTER TEN: DOWN TO THE BONE
Horror fiction is most effective when written with an immersive point of view.
CHAPTER ELEVEN: MORE THAN MEAT
How to make your characters strong and interesting—including characters who will become casualties during the course of your story.
CHAPTER TWELVE: HURTS SO GOOD
Characters in horror fiction should suffer more than just physical pain.
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: THE PHYSIOLOGY OF FEAR
How fear affects the mind and body, and how it affects your characters’ actions and decisions.
CHAPTER FOURTEEN: TELL ME A SCARY STORY
Different narrative structures for writing horror fiction.
CHAPTER FIFTEEN: THE DARK HEART OF HORROR
Horror is an emotion, so it’s vital to write with an emotional core.
CHAPTER SIXTEEN: A MATTER OF STYLE
Stylistic techniques for writing effective horror fiction.
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: THE ART OF SUSPENSE
Techniques for creating and maintaining suspense.
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: LET THEM FIGHT!
Writing effective action scenes in horror fiction.
CHAPTER NINETEEN: THERE ARE NO LIMITS, BUT . . .
How to deal effectively with extreme and violent content.
CHAPTER TWENTY: THE EVIL SPREADS
Marketing your horror fiction to agents, editors, and readers.
END OF THE LINE
A few last words.
APPENDIX A: AUTOPSY
A critique of one of the first horror stories I ever wrote.
APPENDIX B: DIRE SITUATIONS
A list of story situations to help you plot your stories.
APPENDIX C: PSYCHOLOGICAL MAKEUP QUESTIONNAIRE
APPENDIX D: PAIN REACTION QUESTIONNAIRE
APPENDIX E: LET’S GET WEIRD! EXPERIMENTAL FICTION IDEAS
APPENDIX F: FURTHER RESOURCES
Books and websites to help you keep the horror going.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR