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On Writing Horror
edited by Mort Castle

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On Writing Horror

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On Writing Horror
A Handbook by The Horror Writers Association
edited by Mort Castle
Writer's Digest Books, (2007)
Standard Print Edition
ISBN 10: 1-58297-420-9
ISBN 13: 978-1-58297-420-0
Genre: Writing & Publishing

Reviewed by Sheldon Ztvordokov - January 3, 2007

So you want to write horror? Where do you start? One worthwhile starting point is On Writing Horror: A Handbook by The Horror Writers Association (HWA), edited by Mort Castle. Filled with advice by fifty-eight of today's leading Horror writers, this handy guide will provide you with a solid foundation on the craft of writing Horror. The essays, interviews, and speeches in this collection were written by such notable members of the HWA as Stephen King, Harlan Ellison, Jack Ketchum, Joyce Carol Oats, Nancy Kilpatrick, and J. N. Williamson. In addition, the topics covered in this book cover a range of topics from how to avoid cliches and writing erotic horror to tips on plotting and marketing.

Within the pages of this book you'll not only get a first class education in writing horror, but you'll also learn about the history of the Horror Writers Association and the development of horror as a distinct genre. The text, itself, is organized into eight thematic sections:
  1. Horror, Literature, and Horror Literature
  2. An Education in Horror
  3. Developing Horror Concepts
  4. Horror Crafting
  5. Horror, Art, Innovation, Excellence
  6. Tradition and Modern Times
  7. Genre and Subgenre
  8. Horror Business: Selling, Marketing, Promoting
In short, On Writing Horror is an excellent introductory text on the craft, and art, of Horror writing, as well as general information on the business end of the trade - from selling to promoting your stories. This book serves as a self-contained workshop, and as a priceless chance to learn from the experts. While targeted toward novice writers, even seasoned writers will find a wealth of information - and inspiration - within the pages of this informative book.

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