Manual On Writing Horror: A Handbook by the Horror Writers Association

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Jun 02, Rose rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction , reference , writing , horror. Quick review for a quick read.

Probably would give this a solid three stars, as it's a give and take for content and usefulness. It features some great essays and advice, but ultimately, much of this isn't an thorough viewpoint of the horror genre and what it contributes.

Well organized into its respective sections, a Quick review for a quick read. Well organized into its respective sections, and it touched on quite many relevant factors for those looking to start writing horror, from a number of respected writers in the field. Among some of the useful essays I found: Tina Jens wrote a wonderful way to examine characters in "Such Humble People.

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Lansdale examines the importance of place and setting to horror in "A Hand on the Shoulder. Michael Marano's "Going There: Strategies for Writing the Things that Scare You" does a great job of encouraging new writers to write past their boundaries and engaging what scares you to the page. Lastly, I really liked "Eerie Events and Horrible Happenings: Plotting Short Horror Fiction" by Nicholas Kaufmann, because of its brief but very helpful eye to plotting details and shaping the narrative overall for appeal.

There are quite a few other essays that grabbed me, as this compilation delves into the appeal of horror fiction, strategies to write it, strategies to market it, and subgenres to consider in other mediums video games, screenplays, etc. But I'm going to preface this review with a huge caveat: this isn't really a good compilation for delving into more expansive discussions surrounding the material within. Beginners to the genre and those who want snippets of encouragement might find this more useful, and I definitely thought some of the advice given was nicely and succinctly stated, but it left me wanting a little more from it.

Feb 18, Fox rated it liked it Shelves: horror , non-fiction , reference , Although not all of this book is applicable to what I am trying to do, I still found the bulk of it both informative and interesting.

On Writing Horror A Handbook by the Horror Writers Association

The overall amicable tone in which most of it is written also helped to continue to foster interest. I'd recommend this to anyone looking to write within the horror genre - while the whole book may not be helpful, I would defy anyone to say that at least one chapter in there didn't give them at least one new idea. Jun 09, Jess Cattanach rated it liked it Shelves: owned , read-in , magenta-mix-up , to-review. I don't have a lot to say about this one. It's pretty much what it says it is: a handbook on writing horror.

A lot of different people collaborated on this, some of them seasoned experts in the field and others more recent to the world of writing and publishing horror. It covers everything from characters and plot to marketing and publishing, and includes sections on writing horror screenplays, video games, plays, etc. Feb 17, Searska GreyRaven rated it liked it. There were some really good chapters about craft and style, but there were also some pretty dated chapters.

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On writing horror : a handbook (Book, ) [danigneoca.tk]

Um, no, not anymore. It's worth skimming for the good chapters, if nothing else. May 04, H. Gravy rated it liked it. Many of the essays and articles within are written by some of the most well-known and prolific names in horror out there. While their advice is sound and generally touches upon many aspects of the craft, marketing, and style, it isn't a very comprehensive study in any area in particular.

The information is a bit generalized to give a prospective or novice autho On Writing Horror: A Handbook by The Horror Writers Association is an introduction to the world of horror fiction theory, publishing, and elements. The information is a bit generalized to give a prospective or novice author an idea of what they should be doing with regards to their careers, their ideas, and how to seek out more knowledge on the subject matters contained within. I believe the title of the book should have reflected more upon what the book actually is.

Something more along the lines of a Horror or Introduction to Horror Writing. In , a lot of the non-conceptual information is dated. Of course, this isn't something I hold against the book. Just something to point out to those who are reading this in the future. Self-Publishing has risen to epic proportions with Amazon. Small press publishers have a much greater reach now than ever before.

Otherwise, the subjective materials about the craft, style, and generating ideas is still relevant today. While I don't think I got much out of this book, it does serve as a refresher course on how far the publishing world has gotten. If you are looking for a book with much more substance, I suggest checking out Crystal Lake Publishing's "Writers on Writing" series.


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Oct 28, Matt Sautman rated it really liked it. The first six sections of this book are filled with ideas that can be useful to writers just starting to write horror or are looking to integrate elements of horror into their fiction. The last two sections feel somewhat dated in , with the subgenere section feeling overly general and the publishing section feeling as if it does not reflect the current market.

A general critique of this book: while there are a few female contributors, this book skews towards male writers. This same list also include L. Ron Hubbard, which also makes me fairly skeptical. I also find Harlan Ellison's interview more egocentric than helpful and his epilogue to be more masturbatory than useful for a guidebook to writing horror. Feb 01, Fatman rated it it was amazing.


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One of the best, if not the best, books about writing I have read. Some of the information is a bit dated, but that only makes sense, given the publication date. There is no step-by-step manual that you will read and immediately understand how to write well - it comes down to talent and the willingness to work and improve. Jul 17, Keith rated it it was ok. I can't say I was terribly impressed with this book. I guess I was looking for something a little more how-to and less pontificating.

I'm not a huge splatter and gore fan, and that might be part of my ambivalence towards the book, and the essays seemed to swing between bloody horror and writers who wanted to be the next Bram Stoker or Mary Shelley. I enjoy writing, and sometimes I like to branch out and try new challenges, like horror. My comfort zone is more general fiction or mystery. Whatever I can't say I was terribly impressed with this book. Whatever I was looking for in a book on writing horror, this wasn't it. Apr 06, Donyae Coles rated it really liked it Shelves: craft-writing.

A look into the business and craft of scary. This isn't a how to book so much as a resource book for those looking to move forward in a professional manner. A lot of the market information was out of date by the time I read it but the rest of it was solid. It covers genre conventions in theme, dialogue, narrative, etc but this is not a workbook for the aspiring horror writer.

I think this book is best suited to help someone who is already familiar with the genre and writing in general. Jan 07, Nikki rated it it was amazing. An earlier edition of this book is what I used to get prepared to start writing novels. Mort is one of the most brilliant minds in the horror field; this book is a gathering of those brilliant minds outlining the things they do best and how you, too, can do them. If you want to write horror, this is the book you need to be consulting.

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Mar 24, Charlie rated it it was ok Shelves: supercontext-podcast. A lot of short essays, many of them oddly truncated. I read this less as a handbook than as a survey of authors, and I felt like I got a much better sense of how horror writers strategize careers and perceive their industry. Mar 04, Upen rated it really liked it.

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Very informative and detailed just what I needed to understand how the horror genres work. Jan 14, Greg K rated it it was ok. A mishmash of opinion pieces from different authors.