Thank you, Tim Waggoner, for posting on Samhain Publishing’s website your (extremely) short guide to horror writing! While the list may be short, it’s packed with information that I plan on using as I again fire up the burners.
I’ve long been interested in what makes a horror novel because, to me, it’s a difficult genre to define. (Here’s my take.) I think one thing we agree upon is it’s less about the monster, be it a human or supernatural villain, but the terror it creates and people’s reaction to the unknown.
Here’s one of his observations that stands out to me:
Avoid clichés. Horror is about the unknown, and once a specific type of character, threat, or story structure becomes too familiar, it loses its power to engage and affect readers – especially in horror.
Noted! I’m in the early stages of writing a novel focusing on an enemy with which we’re overly familiar. The challenge is making it fresh. And it is a challenge. But a fun one. It’s on!
Tim’s latest novel, The Way of All Flesh, debuted last month and adds to an already impressive catalog of work. Do check it out!