Short List of Books that Aspiring Horror Writers Must Study

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Short List of Books that Aspiring Horror Writers Must Study

If you have a vivid and active imagination, perhaps, there’s no better work for you than fiction writing. Words possess extremely potent power, allowing you to tell nearly anything you can imagine. And when there are no words to describe what you want to tell, you can always make up words and even languages to have it your way. One of the most important things for every writer and creative person overall is, of course, inspiration. To write a good story, it’s a good idea to read one first. Now, if you’re a horror writer or aspire to be one, you’re in luck because there are lots of stories both classic and less known for you to get your daily dose of inspiration.

Take More to Give More

Nothing comes from emptiness, and neither does a great horror story. Regardless of whether you plan to write a small horror essay or a long and torturing (in a thrilling way, of course) novel, you need to read something first. And just as it works with many creative things, the best way to study your field would be reading something classic and something contemporary. Students follow this tip all the time, reading well-known speeches, works, and writing samples in order to perfect their own writing. Alternatively, busy students research sites to write essays and order some pieces of writing to learn more about how experts put together great essays. This helps them improve their own academic writing.

Another problem is that quantity of your studied materials might not always provide great quality. While there are lots of great horror stories out there to read, you can’t read them all and you might not find them all that easily. That’s why shortlists are often better than longer recommendations.

The Horror Shortlist for Today

One important thing about getting inspiration is getting it in accordance with the modern context. As such, some horror stories might be ancient and classic, yet they are relevant to readers today nonetheless. Here are some of the greatest horror pieces to read today to write a great one tomorrow.

  • Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Considered both horror and sci-fi classic, this 1886 novella by Robert Louis Stevenson explores the boundaries of our minds and the importance of self-control. Starting seemingly as a detective story, the piece gradually grows suspense at its best, eventually leading to a rather unexpected and truly horrifying chain of events, all depicted effectively even by modern standards.
  • Rosemary’s Baby. A 20th-century classic authored by Ira Levin, the 1967 Rosemary’s Baby has gained a cult following largely thanks to its fantastic screen adaptation that came out one year after the book’s first publication. While carrying a strong resemblance to supernatural horror, the novel contains a very well-crafted psychological horror trope that explores many diverse aspects of pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Misery. Another classic of the 20th century, Stephen King’s 1987 is by far one of the most appraised psychological horror pieces of all time. Being rather intimate and very detailed in nature, it’s no wonder why this particular novel by King is loved so much by many fans of horror. If you’re interested in creating a strong serial killer character, Misery would definitely be a great inspiration for you.
  • John Dies at the End. Not entirely a horror story, David Wong’s 2007 John Dies at the End has received a cult following despite its relatively young age. By lampooning some of the most commonly used horror tropes of the day, the novel provides a rather fresh look at the genre, serving as a great inspiration for those who want to approach their work unconventionally.
  • Supernatural Horror in Literature. Another piece of writing by the horror classic H.P. Lovecraft, this 1927 essay dives into the anatomy of horror itself, taking at the genre from behind the scenes. Essentially, it’s like reading the tips for students on how to write their essays. It is a great piece of research work for those wishing to learn the basics and understand how to give readers the spooks.

Your Very Own Personal Horror

Most works presented on the list above are largely psychological, and there’s a reason for it. For the past few decades, people got very concerned with their mental health. And this is exactly why you should read such horror stories. Perhaps, one of the most feared things today is losing one’s mental control, losing one’s mind. Using this trick just like the classics did will certainly work out well for you too. So, even though those stories and essays might be well over 50 years of age, they can still help you to create the horror of tomorrow.

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