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Writing Horror (Self-Counsel Writing) Paperback – February 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Series: Self-Counsel Writing
  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Self-Counsel Press (February 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1551802813
  • ISBN-13: 978-1551802817
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 8.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,197,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

...a nuts-and-bolts how-to addition to the Self-Counsel Press Writing Series. -- The London Free Press, June 3,2000

Edo van Belkom has...an empathetic soul to show you the blood-greased ropes of the horror biz. -- Edmonton Journal, June 26,2000

For the ultimate guide to how it is done, you need Edo van Velkom's Writing Horror. -- Coast Independent, September 10,2000

It's a how-to text of frightening for fun and profit. -- Edmonton Sun, June 11,2000

Van Belkom treads fearlessly through the graveyard of horror cliches...offering a systematic approach to fresh and creative scare-mongering. -- The Province, April 16,2000

From the Back Cover

Think you have the makings of a good horror writer? The craft of horror fiction has its own rules. Writing Horror takes you through the process of creating horror, including the art of suspending reader disbelief, the creation of atmosphere and believable characters, and the seven steps of plotting. From psychological to supernatural horror, from vampires to dark fantasy, Writing Horror provides practical advice on starting and finishing your manuscript, getting a response from publishers, and cracking the pro market.

This comprehensive guide to the horror genre also shows you how to -- - Keep track of your ideas - Turn an idea into a story - Know when and how to use an outline - Create atmosphere and characters - Use point of view effectively - Develop skill in writing dialogue - Avoid what’s been done to death - Write horror for young adults - Sell your horror fiction

Writing Horror also features interviews with ten masters of the horror genre.


More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 11, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm not sure what others saw in this book. My writer friend and I both found it very unhelpful. Van Belkom seems to have a rather staunch and simplistic view of everything he discussed in this book. For example, he considers the use of the first-person point-of-view pretentious sounding, as if to say "look at me, I'm literary." What a baffling (and not to mention entirely unuseful) opinion.
What also bothered me was that despite the large dimensions of the book, the margins are huge, and there just isn't as much material as I'd hoped for--especially not in the area of the craft itself (as opposed to the marketing aspects).
I see that this book was appreciated by many other readers, so I'm not going to advise against buying it altogether. Just beware that if you're looking for in-depth analysis about the actual craft of horror writing, this may not satisfy.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Ian Glavine on August 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
I've been writing since I was 15 but I've lacked the initiative and experience to finish a story, now that I've read Writing Horror I've done the exercises and finished a few stories. I found the sections on the seven steps of plotting and the five ways to open a story immensely helpful. The exercises and advice are geared towards short story writing although there's a few helpful hints about book length fiction. Throughout the book Van Belkom stresses how hard the publishing industry is, only those who stick it out will make it in this business. Also of note, being a fellow Canadian it's refreshing to see a writing book told from the perspective of a Canadian author. Use this book to write a story and Renni Browne's Self Editing For Fiction Writers to edit it into print. I can't recommend this book enough.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 24, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm glad I purchased this book. It's basically a "beginners" book for anyone considering writing horror fiction. I've taken writing classes, but none that specifically focus on the horror genre. I want to write horror short-stories, and that's the main focus of the book. Belkom gives great advice and examples of the various ways to start a story, how to decide if your tale is best suited to short story, novel, etc... He also talks about dialogue, and many other things the novice horror writer should be concerned with - format, story ideas, and characterization just to name a few. I think it could've gone a little more in-depth on most of the topics, but that's my only complaint.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gary Jonas on May 4, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As someone who has written and sold a number of horror short stories, I can tell you that this book is right on the money. Edo van Belkom knows the markets and he knows what it takes to make it in this crazy business.
If you're just starting out and you want to write horror, you should begin by buying this book. Read it. The book is jam-packed with common sense and examples. Follow Edo's suggestions, do the exercises and then apply your seat to the chair in front of your computer and get busy writing and submitting your work.
For those of you who are already selling your horror stories and novels at a professional level, WRITING HORROR won't help you nearly as much, but it's fun to read, it's tax deductible and most important, it makes you want to get some writing done.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on May 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
You know you're in good hands when you open this book. But it takes more than just an incredible set of credentials (Bram Stoker Award, several novels and over 15 anthology appearances) to be an effective teacher. It takes a broad understanding of the writing craft and business, and an organized approach--all of which Van Belkom has with this book. It's a fast (216 pages), informative primer for new horror writers, and perhaps a nice refresher for the pros. Covering all the topics a book like this should, such as composition, marketing, and the current state of the genre, Van Belkom is at his best when he dissects his own stories and experiences for the reader's benefit; I'm just disappointed he didn't give us more--more meat, as they say. If you're still in the I'm-embarrassed-I-love-horror stage, Writing Horror has a flexible, paper cover that's perfect for folding over when you're on a crowded subway.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Sebastien Pharand on May 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
Writing horror is a must for any horror fan and aspiring writer. It asnwers EVERY question one might have about the craft of writing and about the process of selling and publishing a story/novel.
Van Belkom, who has written more than 150 published short stories and some very amazing novels, takes the genre apart to teach his readers the bare bones of horror writing. Everything is touched upon; from the provenance of ideas, to the actual writing (grammar, techniques, and dos and don'ts), selling, publishing, revising, finding an agent... You get it all in this book.
This wonderful book answered all the questions I had about the process of writing horror, and I'm sure it will do the same for any aspiring writer. It is a great reference book that any writer should keep close to his/her writing desk, as you'll keep coming back to it whenever you have a question that needs answering.
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