Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Brief Thoughts on Horror

The first series my grandmother introduced me to was R.L. Stine's Ghosts of Fear Street and I loved it. I consumed the rest of the series in short order and went on to read more of his work and those of others in the horror and thriller category. It wasn't until I branched out and found fantasy and scifi that I became hooked to those genres.

I feel my writing is strongest in the fantasy genre, specifically in action/fighting scenes and/or descriptions. These are the areas of my writing that receive the most compliments. That said, I'd like to improve my other areas of writing, such as suspense and love, and so when I came across this reddit post on how to write horror, I decided to give it a read.

That blog post is here - http://webcomicry.com/horror/ - and honestly, you can read that link and skip the entire rest of this painfully short blog post. Hell, even if you read the rest of this thing, you should still go back and read that linked post because it is top notch stuff!

But since you're here.

The TL;DR version of the blog post is that all great horror needs at least 4 things: 1) It gives us something to be scared of, 2) it puts us in a paranoia-inducing atmosphere, 3) it creeps us out, and 4) it hits us with a primal fear. The author of that post, C.S. Jones, goes into greater detail (seriously, read that blog post!) on all of them, and after reading his advice, I went searching for some examples.

I found reddit's r/nosleep sub and quickly stumbled upon this gem of a post

Truly creepy and that ending was astounding! That post got over 2k upvotes in a sub where its rare for any post to get over 500 on an average day. After reading that post, I felt inspired to give C.S. Jones' techniques a go.

If you haven't figured it out by now, this blog post requires you to click the links and read other posts. If you're too lazy to do this, I'm sorry, but you're SOL.

The short post I made is here and I raked in a solid 90% upvote rating, though less than 200 upvotes though, on my first post. I felt pretty satisfied with it, and for just writing something off the top of my head and going along with it as I wrote it, I felt pretty accomplished. I'm certainly no expert, but I feel I successfully grasped the concepts conveyed to me by C.S. Jones and I encourage any other of you out there who want a crash course in horror writing to check out his work.

Good luck!

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