- Publisher: Writers Digest Books; Reprint edition (July 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0898794838
- ISBN-13: 978-0898794830
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #341,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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How to Write Tales of Horror, Fantasy and Science Fiction Reprint Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is a brisk read right up until the chapter on the psychology of horror fiction which, frankly, reads like it was written by a psychologist. It was boring, tedious and felt very out of place among so many good essays.
The only other problem is the chapter at the end that supposedly helps you get published. While I'm sure it was quite helpful at the time it was written (in the mid-1980s), many of the publications it lists are now defunct and many of the practices have changed. It's not a bad section, it is simply past its time.
Regardless, for those who want to learn how to write horror from those who have done it, this book is well worth reading.
It also bothered me that it was structured as "two pages of article, ten pages of short story". (Especially as most of the short stories weren't all the great, IMHO, and most didn't really illustrate the point that the essay prior to them was trying to make.) I felt suckered in by "how to write", when the book was, to be honest, more of a short story collection than a book on writing.
Probably the only bit I'd highly recommend (which might be worth a library check out) is the chapter by J. N. Williamson (who I've never heard of, but who edited the book) on "Plotting as your Power Source". He offered some really good advice on how to plot out novels, which was worth reading. But I'm not sure that I'd pay money for one article that I liked.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lost my original copy years ago, was thrilled to find it on Amazon. Great perspectives from so many accomplished authors.
Wish they had a Kindle version!
My guess is that the editor (or possibly the publisher) had the idea for this book and then asked a lot of F/SF/horror writers to write "something" for it. Read morePublished on April 15, 2012 by Dragonslayer
I bought this book for my 15 yrs old niece for Christmas in 2010. She wanted to learn how to write good Fantasy books. Read morePublished on January 16, 2011 by Christine C
This book suffers from the same problem most how-to-write books have: It doesnt teach you much in the way of how to improve your writing or much about the philosophy of fear. Read morePublished on December 26, 2008 by James B. Johnson
Science fiction gets the short shrift in this treatment, and the essays that do address science fiction in particular are too superficial. Read morePublished on January 24, 2000 by J. Hunter Johnson