Category: Guest Post

3 Writing Tips From Famous Horror Authors

3 Writing Tips From Famous Horror Authors

By: Frank Hamilton

 

Do you like writing or reading about things that can shake everyone to the core? Then you are at the right place. In today’s article, we are combining 3 of the most essential tips to help you understand what makes a good horror story. If you are as excited as we are, let’s read further!
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Scooby Doo, horror fiction, and the future of a beloved franchise

Scooby Doo, horror fiction, and the future of a beloved franchise
By: Drew Purcell

 

What exactly makes Scooby Doo so enjoyable? I wouldn’t be the first to point out that the gang’s adventures are seldom legitimately scary, funny, or mysterious — with some notable exceptions being the superb Mystery Incorporated TV show, the T-rated Scooby Apocalypse comic series, David Cross’ bizarre “Night of the Living Doo” special, the two perfectly cast theatrical movies written and directed by James Gunn (who was reportedly held back by the studio from fully realizing his vision), and some of the early straight-to-video movies like Zombie Island and The Witch’s Ghost. Okay, so there are plenty of examples of decent Scooby Doo releases…. However, I think it’s fair to say that much of the franchise’s output over the years has been sub-par and has relied too heavily on the same old tropes. The recent SCOOB movie that is apparently the first work in a “Hanna-Barbera Cinematic Universe” is an example of this. Thankfully, to me at least, Scooby is like pizza in that even at his worst, he’s still enjoyable. 
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Guest Post: The Horrors Of Life by Jenna Greene

The Horrors Of Life

by Jenna Greene

Though I knew my whole life that I wanted – needed – to be a writer, I never expected to have a career as a Young Adult Writer. When I first started writing, I was in elementary school, and barely understood genres, let alone target audiences. As I grew older, I sought to be a poet, but failed miserably at that. Even as a short story writer, I ran into difficulty, as I wanted more time, more words, to explore character and theme and, let’s face it, adventure.

So how did I become a YA writer? Luck and happenstance, I guess. The first character I dreamed up that I was really able to develop a story about was a sixteen year old girl who was snatched from one realm into another and forced to survive. The second book I wrote centered on a seventeen year old girl who was suffering extreme realities in her home life and using fantasies to stay sane. As my writing continued, more teenage characters – and their trials and tribulations – popped into my head.
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7 Tips for Writing Speculative Fiction with Creative Writing Prompts

7 Tips for Writing Speculative Fiction with Creative Writing Prompts
By: Justin Osborne

Writing speculative fiction can be challenging, since events do not take place in the real world. Speculative fiction is sometimes called a “what-if” scenario, since the writer proposes a course of action and then speculates the outcome based on her own assessments of the story. 

This type of creative writing changes the laws of possible and impossible and breaks down the barrier between them. The action that takes place in a brand-new, separate universe can be inspired by events that happened in real life – and most of the time, it is. However, random speculations give the writer a broader storyline and the ability to create an imaginative plot and uncanny characters. Here are seven of the most important tips for creating speculative writing fiction with creative writing prompts. 
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4 Tips For Horror Writers From The Genre’s Masters

4 Tips For Horror Writers From The Genre’s Masters
by: Ashley Halsey

 

One of the most terrifying things about horror writing is the sight of a blank page. A truly scary story is not easy to craft, as any of the great writers of the genre will attest. To help you chill the spines of anyone who dares to read your work then, here are four tips for writing great horror.

 

  1. Make Your Protagonist Likeable

Remember those scenes in horror films where you’re glad the monster got the character? That’s because you didn’t care for them. If your protagonist is unlikeable, your reader won’t root for them, making it impossible for them to share in the character’s fear and danger.

 

Stephen King said it best:
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Inside the Mind of an Independent Horror Publisher, Part II

  1. Inside the Mind of an Independent Horror Publisher, Part I
  2. Inside the Mind of an Independent Horror Publisher, Part II

Inside the Mind of an Independent Horror Publisher, Part II of II

 

by Rebecca Rowland

 

Beyond evoking serendipity, there are a few tricks to standing out when your submission is one of hundreds in an open call. According to the fifteen independent press owners interviewed for this piece, originality and a gift for the craft—both in terms of mechanics and of story-telling—are what makes them swoon.

“Originality,” stated Chrissy Brown of Caab Publishing Ltd. “If we cannot guess the ending then we love it. If a character goes off the wall but it makes perfect sense once explained, our brains light up and we adore the piece. We do not like to feel the characters are just going through the motions or only there to be filler. We like meat on the bones and depth to the story.” Stuck in a rut? “Read more outside of your ‘comfort genre’ and/or the genre that you write in,” advised Filthy Loot Press’ Ira Rat. “There’s an unintentional homogeny that settles in and then shines through when all you’re reading is one style.”

Beyond standing out from the crowd, take the time to polish your prose. “Top notch writing is highest on my list of things that speak to me when reading submissions. Even a basic story, if extremely well written, will get my attention,” noted Sinister Smile Press’ Steven Pajak. “I want great writing,” agreed Cameron Trost of Black Beacon Books. “This means you know how to tell a gripping story, and it means you have a working knowledge of the nuts and bolts of the English language. If you don’t, study up before writing your story…you wouldn’t build a house without knowing the basics of carpentry, so don’t write a story without brushing up on grammar and punctuation.” Once you have those nuts and bolts in place, sand, buff, and lacquer your cadence. “What grabs my attention and makes me want a story in our anthologies is the prose itself,” stated Pajak’s company partner, R.E. Sargent. “When it is extremely well written and has almost a poetic flow to it, it immediately catches my attention. Then as long as it meets theme and isn’t full of plot holes, or doesn’t fall on its face at the end, it’s pretty much an instant ‘Hell yes’ from me.”
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The‌ ‌Art‌ ‌of‌ ‌Writing‌ ‌Horror‌ ‌Poetry‌

The Art of Writing Horror Poetry
By: Lauren Groff

Horror writing is a slippery fish.  Cliches lurk in the bushes, tired out tropes haunt the halls, and there is a certain demonic pressure that comes with setting out to be deliberately ‘scary.’  Writing horror poetry brings its own particular challenges but the form is, arguably, perfectly suited to the genre; verse allows for a flow, an ambiguity, a sense of dislocation and dreaminess that can serve the spooky very well indeed, when played with just the right touch.  Let’s have a look at some ideas for how to make your horror poem truly horrific – in the best possible way.

 

Bringing the Fear

The most fundamental thing to note is that, if it scares you, and you can write about it convincingly, you’ve got a good chance of it scaring me as a reader.  At the very least I’m going to buy into a level of dread or feeling of uncertainty, and these are great things to be aiming for in the world of horror writing.

 

Form, rhyme structure, verse length – choose whatever serves you and the poem, there are no rules here.  Experiment with your subject matter, see what works well and what doesn’t, free-write and make messy drafts until you discover the form your horror poem wants to take.
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Quick Guide On Making Your Horror Screenplay TRULY Terrifying

Quick Guide On Making Your Horror Screenplay TRULY Terrifying

If you like watching scary movies, and you know your way around the formula that creates the best horror, then you might be interested in writing your own horror screenplay. A horror screenplay is special to write, because you’re not only telling the story, but you’re also giving your audience a good scare.

In this quick guide, we’ll show you 7 tips on how to craft a good horror screenplay.

  1. Take Inspiration From Your Own Fears

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