Author Tim Waggoner’s Guide to Horror

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!

Courtesy: Samhain Publishing

Courtesy: Samhain Publishing

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!


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