ISSUE #26

AN ODE TO HORROR WRITERS

Breaking News!

 

I have acquired another award for this year's Halloween Writing Competition!

 

The winner will now be GUARANTEED a spot at Evil Expo 2021. This is a phenomenal way to network in a fun, and sinister, environment! You can set up a vendor spot to sell your goods, join a panel and talk to a LIVE crowd about your work, and much more!

 

Stay tuned, I'll have more information about this soon.

I will tweet about it and update the Competition Page in the near future.

Frightful Friday has arrived!

 

Here are some spooky selections on Rahaman Writing:

                                                       

Horror comes in many shapes and sizes, for fears are the same.

 

Everyone has a slightly different idea of what makes for good horror, though there ARE objective qualities that make good horror stand out from the bad.

 

Video games, films, and TV shows tend to manifest the worst aspects of bad horror more than literature. These usually take the form of jump-scares, intentionally poor lighting for "effect", and implying that the audience should be afraid instead of actually scaring them. Here's a quick breakdown of why these aspects suck and should be removed from not only all media, but from the planet:

 

Jump Scares:

A cheap tactic that surprises and startles people.

This does NOT induce genuine terror, but rather a cheap imitation.

It's lazy, uninspired, and sadly all too common.

 

Poor Lighting:

Spooky things happen at night and night is dark, everyone knows this. But intentionally obscuring the visuals in media is, again, LAZY! This lack of lighting allows the viewer to imagine the sinister things happening, but this is the opposite of how visual mediums are meant to reveal aspects.

There is a big difference between a gradual lead up to a reveal and shrouding important imagery because the monster costume looks shitty in proper lighting.

Just SHOW us the scary things.

To HELL with the budget-saving.

That's the producer's problem, not ours.

 

Implications:

Further LAZINESS.

Dumping exposition onto the audience via a report on the radio or in a newspaper article is fine for some contextual information, but NOT if you want people to emotionally connect with that is happening.

Show us the sinister event that took place as if we were there!

Show us the bloody story you want us to be invested in!

I guarantee seeing a werewolf or vampire attack a human will have a greater impact on the audience than some plebeian reading the Toronto Star. 

I've read my fair share of bad horror fiction; this medium is not immune to criticism.

Though, I have noticed that my complaints are usually more subjective qualms about the setting and characters.

 

Furthermore, bad horror can be as inspiring as good horror!

But in vastly different ways.

Good horror makes me want to read more.

Bad horror makes me want to write something better than the tripe I just read.

 

This brings us to this week's writing tip!

 

The Baron of Beholder's Writing Tip #15:

 

 Read more!

 

It may seem simple, but here are a few things you should consider while reading:

 

-Why you like or dislike what you're reading

-How you would do things differently if it was your story

-What are some things you could use to enhance your own work

 

Writing more will improve your skills, but reading more will improve your knowledge about what makes and breaks a story!

 

If you're looking for some horror authors to check out, I would highly recommend H.P. Lovecraft over all modern authors, but there are others whose work I also enjoy.

 

M.R. James wrote tales that incrementally ramp up in terror using subtle and fluid elements. I learned a lot about how to reveal the spookiness of art within some of my stories from his fascinating work.

 

Richard Matheson wove stories that blend elements of science fiction and horror to create vivid and sinister worlds. He's also one of the few writers who can include funny or amusing bits into his horror and have it feel balanced and natural as opposed to awkward and forced.

 

Edgar Allan Poe was capable of drawing out a great deal of thoughts and feelings from readers. He is able to use a minute amount of words to convey sinister and sickening imagery, but in a gentlemanly manner.

This week in Of the Sky, Of the Sea, and Of the Stones, the fleeing scholars make their way through the burning city, doing their best to avoid the apathetic gods and the 'cleansing'.

 

Along the Canal

© 2020 Rahaman Writing

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