Happy Halloween from the Horror Writers Association (HWA)!
As horror writers, of course we treasure Halloween, but we also understand the concerns of some educators in regards to the holiday.
Halloween has a rich history that goes back over a thousand years, encompassing elements of folklore, literature, sociology, and pop culture. In the 21st century it is celebrated as a secular festival with playful costumes, parties, and fictitious scares. We urge educators to consider Halloween’s literary and historical side; it’s a perfect time to interest students in such classics as:
- “The Black Cat” by Edgar Allan Poe
- “Young Goodman Brown”
Back then, for me, it was all about masks.
For Halloween, sure, but I’m also talking about day-to-day. This all started with the perception that people seldom said what they really felt about anything. I wasn’t sure why, but apparently there was something impolite about frankness, and politeness was something we took pretty seriously in my part of the South. The only person I knew whose face invariably expressed whatever passed through his head was the town’s developmentally disabled fellow who sat on a bench by the drugstore when he wasn’t out with his burlap sack collecting roadside treasures. Whether he …
The post Halloween Haunts: A Condemned Man, A Halloween Memory by Steve Rasnic Tem appeared first on Horror Writers Association Blog.
I have found, in 25 years of fiction writing now, that the surest way to a feeling of verisimilitude in a story is to process the experiences in my life and put them down on paper. I refer to this process as strip-mining my childhood, and so far, it’s been very good to me.
Not only has this practice helped me to work my way through past experiences, both good bad, it has also lent an air of reality to a lot of the scenes I have written. Write what you know is, perhaps, the oldest saw in the art …
The post Halloween Haunts: Halloween Defines Fall, At Least for Me By John F.D. Taff appeared first on Horror Writers Association Blog.
First things first: let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room. Extreme horror fiction hasn’t always enjoyed the best reputation. Despite the commercial success of books like Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho and Jack Ketchum’s The Girl Next Door, the field is often seen as only catering to a niche audience. Despite a pedigree that arguably extends at least as far back as the Marquis de Sade, the field is often seen as a playground for recent generations of subliterate hacks.
Perhaps that’s why so little has been said about how to write extreme horror fiction skillfully: so many …
The post Halloween Haunts: Emotional Realism in Extreme Horror Fiction by Nicole Cushing appeared first on Horror Writers Association Blog.