Category: Guest Post

How to Use Descriptions of Light to Create Suspense

How to Use Descriptions of Light to Create Suspense

Have you ever felt your heart pounding as you flipped through the pages of a book, desperate to find out what might be lurking in the shadows? Part of this experience comes from an author’s use of suspense. Suspense isn’t just about cliffhangers and plot twists — it’s also about withholding information and then revealing it slowly to create a feeling of uncertainty.

 

Descriptions of light in particular can be a powerful tool in your arsenal, particularly when writing thriller and horror genre books. Here are three effective ways you can use light to create suspense in your own writing:

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Baby Reindeer: Horror and Trauma

Baby Reindeer: Horror and Trauma

By Kelly Florence & Meg Hafdahl

 

This article contains spoilers for the 2024 series, Baby Reindeer, streaming on Netflix.

With the title, Baby Reindeer, we weren’t sure what we were getting into when we started the seven-episode series last month. Intrigued by the seemingly innocuous name, it became clear that horror can exist in even the most innocent settings. What begins as a tale of a man offering kindness to a woman in need, the story turns out to be one of stalking, assault, trauma, and healing. Based on the true story of what happened to writer, actor, and creator, Richard Gadd, the series takes on a whole new level of horror as the audience realizes they are watching the man, himself, relive the terrible things that he went through earlier in his life.

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Beneath the Mask: Psychological Horror and the Human Psyche

Beneath the Mask: Psychological Horror and the Human Psyche

 

Psychological horror occupies a special place at the top of the horror genre. But it grows in the strange shadows of the mind, not in overt acts or visible monsters. This article does just that by exploring the central role psychological horror plays in penetrating our deepest fears and penetrating the veil of consciousness. 
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Pressing Skin: Publishing Horror With a Small Press

Pressing Skin: Publishing Horror With a Small Press

by Lee Rozelle

I’m the type of writer who rolls body horror over my tongue until it makes me concerned about myself. I like to handle and manipulate words—flip them, control them— long after they become the property of other people. I squeeze myself between editors, get in the comfort zones of layout designers, stalk cover artists, and expose myself to bloggers. Craving validation for my literary efforts, I invite myself to online interviews, doll up to charm reviewers, and brand myself until it hurts.

Does that mean I need help?

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WiHM 2024: 5 March Horror Book Releases From Women

Image donated by Sara. C./center>

March is often our last month before spring gets its foothold into the earth, sprouting flowers and ushering us out into the sunshine. As goth girls who can’t get enough of reading dark books by a crackling fire, we hope you take this opportunity, like we are, to stay inside, cozy under a black blanket for a little bit longer. And since March is Women in Horror Month, what a great excuse to pick up these five March horror book releases by women. 

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Write Where You Know

Write Where You Know

By: Kev Harrison

Writing advice is as common as it is varied. But one nugget which seems to have stood the test of time, is to ‘write what you know.’ There’s been constant debate over what this really means for your fiction. In this article, I’m going to recommend a slight twist on this. Write where you know. 

As with all writing advice, it’s important to know that your mileage may vary. But this is something which has worked for me, and might do for you, too.

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Genre Fluid

Genre Fluid

by Alethea Lyons

I have a long-running debate with a friend. She insists I write horror. I staunchly deny this (as a complete wuss) and say I write very dark SFF.

My first published short story is about a brainwashed child forced to commit murder.

Read as a standalone, it seems like horror and it is in a horror anthology. However, it’s based on backstory for a book that is firmly science-fantasy.

Where is the line between dark fantasy and horror?

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Horror Musicals By Kelly Florence & Meg Hafdahl

Horror Musicals

By Kelly Florence & Meg Hafdahl

Ever since we were little, we’ve both been obsessed with the horror genre and musicals. How could the two possibly go together? Surprisingly well, to our delight. We’ve had the privilege of seeing several horror musicals in-person in the theatre over the years and need to tell you our favorites, in no particular order.

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