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Horror Fiction

  1. jdeschene profile image77
    jdescheneposted 8 years ago

    I love horror fiction.  I'd love to write it one day.  Does anyone else feel this way?  Any tips to offer?  Any suggested reading?  I'd love to know.

    1. elisabeth reid profile image78
      elisabeth reidposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      Read, read, read.  And don't just skim...really read.  Read for content, read for story, read for style, read for the little things like grammar and dialogue use.   Criticize...pick it apart and see if you can figure out what makes it tick.

      And pick up "On Writing".  I didn't find a lot of technical advice I was able to use...but I did find a lot of encouragement and in it.  Plus it's the only book of its kind...except for "Bird by Bird"...that I've been able to read.

      Reading good horror and suspense are one of my vices...I can't write it, though.

    2. waynet profile image46
      waynetposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      I too would like to write horror fiction, all I suggest is to read and read, which is probably what you already do anyway.

      Doing a google search for new ideas in "horror fiction" brings up some inspirational ideas to work with.

    3. ripplemaker profile image89
      ripplemakerposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      You can actually start writing right now...writing is still a skill.  The more you write, the more you get better at it.  You can start with short stories.  And later on move to novels.  Hehe as for me, I prefer to write inspirational stories though.  Horror stories keep me awake at night. hehe best of wishes to your dreams.  Go for it!!!!  smile

  2. Ben Evans profile image74
    Ben Evansposted 8 years ago

    I would start out by writing short storys.  Just start by creating little storys.  The night was cool as I walked accross the bridge......I felt an a chill down my spine.  The house was an evil house.....Everyone who entered had an evil enchantment.  I think in the beginning we have a tendency to write and are fearful of how it is going to turn out.  In the beginning, you have to come up with a theme and start writing.  The only hints I can give is having consistency in the voice and making the voice sound believable.  This will become more developed with time.

    This will come with time and by writing you will gain experience.



    1. jdeschene profile image77
      jdescheneposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      Thanks for your advice.  I definitely agree.  smile

  3. Shirley Anderson profile image84
    Shirley Andersonposted 8 years ago

    Stephen King's book entitled, On Writing.

    Also, Writer's Digest used to sell a book on writing Sci Fi and Horror....I had it, lent it to someone, never saw it again, so I can't recite the title exactly. 

    You can probably find advice free and online at sites such as Writer Gazette, Long Ridge Writer's Group, About.com Freelance Writing, etc.  There are a LOT of such sites.  Chapters and Amazon would have print books on the subject as well, I'm sure.

    I would sometimes take a short story - by Stephen King, of course - and rewrite it in my own words, just for practise.

    Voracious reading helps.  Lovecraft, Poe, Koontz, McCammon, all the greats (King's a given), and more importantly, the ones that really suck.  Figure out why they're bad so you can avoid it in your writing.

    All that is just off the top of my head, but I hope some of it is helpful.

    I'd wish you luck, but you don't it.  You just need practise and desire.

    Happy Horroring!

  4. H. P. Loveboat profile image87
    H. P. Loveboatposted 8 years ago

    I feel obligated to second the notion that you read the works of H. P. Lovecraft. You see...I got this screen name and all, so I kinda have to.

    1. jdeschene profile image77
      jdescheneposted 8 years ago in reply to this


      I love your screen name btw.

      1. H. P. Loveboat profile image87
        H. P. Loveboatposted 8 years ago in reply to this

        And thank you for loving my screen name.

  5. grumpyjacksa profile image60
    grumpyjacksaposted 8 years ago

    I agree with the short story approach .

    One of the scariest books I ever read was a selection of short stories :Tales of terror , edited by Kurt Singer .

    Go 4 it .

  6. JarrodHaze profile image90
    JarrodHazeposted 8 years ago


    I would also suggest reading the Borderland series, edited by Thomas Monteleone (or Tom, sometimes, if you can't find Thomas)... I believe they're up to four or five books by now?

    Anyway, they're selections of weird stories, not all of them are straight-up horror, but it is definitely some of the most creative writing I have ever read.  I looked them up on Amazon, and here are some links (FYI- these are straight up Amazon links, I didn't put any aff. tracking into them, so NOT trying to sell you on anything!)  wink

    http://www.amazon.com/Borderlands-1-No/ … amp;sr=1-2

    http://www.amazon.com/Borderlands-2-No/ … amp;sr=1-1

    http://www.amazon.com/Borderlands-3-No/ … amp;sr=1-1

    Those are the first three books in the series, and the only three I've read so I'm not going to vouch for 4 or 5.  But you can pick them up there for pretty cheap, used I think they're like 3 bucks a piece.

    For anyone starting out in fiction writing I can't recommend those enough.  It's a range of writers, a range of styles, and the content is some of the most imaginative writing I've seen.  Hope that helps.

    I would also recommend becoming familiar with Clive Barker, if you're not already.  And there are a number of horror anthologies, masters of horrors, etc. out there.  Some of them are really good, some of them are really bad... but hey, that's like any genre.  I don't know which ones are best off the top of my head, but I can get back to you on a couple stories I've liked.

    I've been writing for a while now, and just started getting back into fiction after years and years of graduate school... which kills your spirit to write, so we're sort of in the same boat.  So please keep in touch, let me know how it comes along, and you can feel free to send me your stuff any time and I'll critique, give advise, proofread, etc.  Getting other people to read your writing is essential to the process.  Oftentimes a writer will have a great idea, but after having others read it he realizes other and better ways to get that idea across.

    Most of all, writing is experimentation.  Nothing's wrong, so write everything.  If it doesn't sound or feel right, write it anyway and look at it a few days later, and get someone else's opinion.  "Happy accidents" often make for some good reading.

    1. grumpyjacksa profile image60
      grumpyjacksaposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      Yes , Clive Barker is a maestro .

  7. CherylTheWriter profile image61
    CherylTheWriterposted 8 years ago

    I have to put in a plug for my alma mater here. Seton Hill University offers an online MA degree in Writing Popular Fiction, with emphasis on writing what you want and what people want to read: horror, sci fi, mystery, romance, YA, thriller, you name it. No, I don't make any money on this commentary; I just know they have a terrific program that has returned me to fiction writing after a twenty year absence.

    Check out Michael Arnzen's website; he's one of the horror instructors. Also check out Fantasist Enterprises: Publisher of Illustrated Fantasy and Horror, an imprint run by another SHU grad. If nothing else, the latter publishes horror short stories and could be a place to submit.

    Good luck!


  8. Tommy D profile image60
    Tommy Dposted 8 years ago

    Go for it.  Like many others are saying just write and write to polish your style.

    As far as horror writing goes for a first time effort I would really try and delve as deep into one as your own fears as possible and expand what you find over and over again.

    Plus defo check out Stephen King On Writing as mentioned earlier in this thread.