Horror Writers

By John Halasz

Horror writers can jump start their horror writing careers if they are well armed with the know-how of this especially-loved but repulse provoking genre. The trick lies in eliciting feelings of disgust, fear, horror and abhorrence from the readers. In fact, the more of it, better is the impact. Novels based on fear have been known to sell well. What is considered as being frightful in one era may differ depending upon the gender and the age of the reader. Horror writers have to maintain a balance so that their literary creation appeals to maximum number of people without biases towards gender, age or class. People read of shadowy figures lurking around or unexplainable scenes wide-eyed while breaking into cold sweat.

Horror screenplay writing is challenging for most, but greater influence can be made through the use of eerie sounds and light effects. Unlike a novel, scripts need only to lay detailed description of “what” of a scene and leave the “how” part of it to the directors. The scenes that are meant to startle the viewers through the use of macabre, supernatural or the fantasy need to be carefully woven by the horror writers from the beginning to the end so that they do not seem too unbelievable or outlandish. Writers of stories that depict terror often overlap it with the thriller genre to bring out the best in the tales that they are narrating. Screenplays that horrify also strike a chord of mystery or doom, and the horror writers must give it the most realistic touch so that the gory incidents continue to haunt the viewers long after the movie, theatrical play or TV serial is over.

The terror-stricken heroin plagued by a monster or a youngster troubled by nightmarish occurrences has been well taken in recent years. The earlier horror writers made good use of Gothic literature; Frankenstein and Dracula are classic anthologies of evil based series of books and scripts that were instantaneous hits. It was of little consequence whether the viewer understood the dialect used or not. The important point was that he comes under the spell of the terror being cast by the author. With years of experience under their belts, authors of horror too mature and master the art of “scaring the daylight out” of the readers or viewers winning high accolades from them and the critics. The main plot line adopted should be carefully planned and executed to evoke maximum dread.

Horror is primarily based on emotions. Dealing with the strange and the fantastic while reaching a large audience is a challenging task that experienced horror writers have learned to do repeatedly. Originality is a vital essence of horror writing because when an idea is repeated, it loses it charm – or rather its terrorizing effect. Today, horror has made its way into the high school syllabi of the country. Be it in the form of short stories or longer plays, revulsion is a welcome change to thrill the people’s minds. This cult has enjoyed a booming past with a brighter future ahead.

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