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Writers Workshop of Horror edited by Michael Knost is the most practical and comprehensive guide to writing fiction I have ever read. Contributors include some of the most successful authors in the genre who explain point by point how to construct powerful stories.
In the chapter "Once upon a Scary Time: Creating Effective Beginnings" Elizabeth Massy explains how to craft a story opening that grabs the reader's attention and ignites his curiosity. With detailed instruction and examples from her own published fiction, she shows the writer how to create an opening that will keep the reader turning pages, hungry for more.
Michael Lamio continues with tips on constructing a strong middle, using the time factor and other elements to build suspense. He explains the use of foreshadowing and how to keep reader interest high as the story moves toward a satisfying conclusion. J. F. Gonzalez describes the different types of endings, what each accomplishes and how to create it.
These three chapters alone are worth the price of the book, but it includes so much more. Every aspect of fiction writing is covered. Gary Braunbeck instructs on building believable characters, Tim Waggoner writes about plot, Scott Nicholson describes different points of view, Thomas F. Monteleone covers writing successful dialogue, G. Cameron Fuller details the use of setting and description, Rick Hautala explains tone, style and voice and Michael A. Arnzen analyzes scene and structure.
In addition to chapters on handling basic story elements, writers like Ramsey Campbell, Jonathan Maberry, Tom Piccirilli, Mort Castle, Jeff Strand, Joe R.Read more ›
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First and foremost, you must read Stephen King's On Writing before you read this "self-help" book; and then use SK's On Writing as a filter of what is right and what is wrong about the mixed bag of advices--some of which are downright terrible.
I bought this book because I wanted to be well informed. And I did not come into this skeptically at all (IT HAS 5 STARS ON AMAZON, BOO YA!). This book is full of advice and some of it is bad; but out of the advice that isn't bad, it leaves only casual advice--not necessarily good advice (and if it is "good" advice, it really is not "great" advice). Originally when I bought this, I literally thought this was going to be a workshop-style book; for instance, try this exercise, try that exercise, read these books if you're interested in this genre, yadda yadda yadda--none of that is in it (and that's not so bad, really).
What this book tries to be is an On Writing Horror book, but there's already been a book called that, so the editor, Michael Knost, named it something different. Since different authors wrote different chapters, I will specifically reviewed certain chapters that stand out for various reasons (because there are some chapter's that I literally wanted to punch the author(s) in the face--and then there are some chapters that have genuinely okay advice).
CHAPTER'S 1-3 These chapters are very "blah"--I didn't get much out of it except for confidence in my own writing (because these people were apparently published and Stoker award winning/nominated authors!).
CHAPTER 4 Connecting the DOTS, Gary Braunbeck - 2/5 Have you ever had a teacher who thought that asking question after question of rhetorical, semi-thought provoking subjects were productive?Read more ›
Writing manuals are often dry, boring, and full of self-congratulatory hyperbole. Thankfully, The Writers Workshop Of Horror is not your average writing manual. Editor Michael Knost has brought together some of the top names in the horror genre, as well as talented newcomers, and given readers an entertaining, informative, and valuable work.
Covering every aspect involved in writing, and writing well, the contributors share their secrets, their tips, and their invaluable experience with the reader. Even if you have no interest in writing whatsoever, this book will still entertain and enthrall, just due to the sheer infectious fun each contributor appears to be having, talking about a subject near and dear to their hearts. With a contributors' list including names like Monteleone, Campbell, Lansdale, Barker, Castle, and Piccirilli, you know you've got something special in your hands.
Writers Workshop Of Horror belongs on the bookshelf of anyone who is serious about their writing. Entertaining, informative, and just plain old fun, this book will not only make you want to write more, it will give you the tools to write better. This should be mandatory reading in creative writing classes.
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This assortment of tips from countless horror writers is filled with lots of good advice and tips for budding writers and those who simply want to refresh their memory when it comes to good style and effectiveness in the genre.
I have read a lot of books on writing and as such "Writers Workshop of Horror" didn't have a whole lot of new to add to the subject. Most of what is presented here I have read or heard elsewhere before. That is not necessarily a bad thing but for well-read authors, its information content may be somewhat diminished as a result. The information that is offered is solid advice and valuable, no doubt. It also offers a glimpse into the way other writers work and approach their projects which may give readers ideas and alternatives they may not have thought of before.
Some of the entries are rather short and unfortunately the contributions by some of the bigger name authors - the once I most looked forward to - are actually interview excerpts on the subject of their writing.
Still, overall, "Writers Workshop of Horror" is a solid book that surely holds enough information and advice for any writer working in the genre.