- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Writers Digest Books; 1st edition (August 1, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0898797985
- ISBN-13: 978-0898797985
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,698,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Writing Horror 1st Edition
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Oftentimes how-to books fall short because they spend too much time with the basics and not enough time explaining the nuances of their subject. Writing Horror, by the Horror Writers Association, doesn't fall into that trap; the authors of the 39 articles in this anthology assume you can write, and thus they concentrate on getting the most out of working in the horror genre. The result is more like an inspirational guide than a how-to book. Of specific interest is the small section on writing horror comic books, featuring essays on E. C. Comics by Dan Chichester (who has done several Clive Barker adaptations as well as a well-received run on Daredevil), and "Breaking All Codes" by David Quinn (who broke all sorts of taboos in his bloody and sexy Faust). Other authors include Joe R. Lansdale, Joyce Carol Oates, and the one and only Harlan Ellison.
A seasoned horror writer and writing teacher pulls together a vast amount of information on the genre. The psychology of writing horror; techniques of dialogue and characterization; the relationship of horror to other forms of literature; submission procedures; career management; horror in electronic, graphic, and other nonprint media--there is something here about all these and more. Some of the essays require a bit of mental translating, but others--notably those of Tina Jens and David Morrell--are models of clarity, content, and wit. Robert Weinberg contributes a basic reading list, and there are tidbits on markets (inevitably soon to become outdated--the fault of fate, not the editor) and even an interview with and a story by Harlan Ellison. No one seriously interested in writing or reading horror will fail to gain something from this straightforward, largely successful how-to. Roland Green
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-- Joyce Carol Oates
The Horror Writers Association is home to some of the best and brightest writers of dark fiction today. Now with the publication of this handbook, they share the secrets of their craft. Edited by Mort Castle, author of eight novels and former instructor with Writer's Digest School, Writing Horror gives the aspiring author the insider's knowledge needed to write and market his or her work in this special field.
We find here a brief history of the Horror Writers Association by Stanley Wiater, and Joyce Carol Oates tells us why we need horror fiction, and how it helps us see the truth behind the lies.
Included are chapters on characterization, setting, dialogue and that all important question: where to find story ideas. Robert Weinberg provides a list of "must read" books to find out what has been done, and Karen E. Taylor tells writers how to bring traditional horror into the twenty-first century.
Jack Ketchum writes an insightful chapter on visceral horror: how to create reader empathy for characters and the writer's duty to add the details that make the scenes come alive.
We find chapters on finding agents and marking short stories in the professional, small press and Internet markets.
Don D'Auria, editor for leisure books, and Richard Chizmar, editor of Cemetery Dance Magazine and CD Publishing, give us the editors' prospective.
Then there is a great interview with Stephen King about his serial novel, The Green Mile, and a wonderfully telling story entitled "Quiet Lies the Locust Tells" by Harlan Ellison. A real 'think piece.'
Writing Horror is a much needed instruction manual for the aspiring horror writer written by the authors who know the art and craft best. But it's much more than that. It's entertaining and easy to read and it gives the reader an inside look at how the authors go about constructing their own stories.
The amazing thing about this book is how these writers were able to pack so much information into one volume.
This is a 'must read' for beginning writers and a refresher course for working authors.
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Seems like an odd choice, especially for someone living in a country which hasn't spawned a (good) horror writer...Read more