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The Writer’s Workshop of Horror contains a wealth of information for all writers, but especially those who write in the horror genre.
My favorite essays are as follows: “To the Next Generation!” By Ramsay Campbell fired me up to write and set a great tone. “Reasons Why a Story Doesn’t Grab Me” by Ann Vandermeer provides practical advice on writing dynamic stories. “Who is that Walking Beside You? Haunted by the Horror Tradition” by John Langan provides some great story prompts “Interview with Bentley Little” by Elizabeth Massie gives awesome insight into the author. I love how he challenges the reader to submit everything they write. “Working from the Subconscious” by Joe R Lansdale explains how the subconscious enriches one’s writing. I liked hearing the specifics of Landale’s writing process as he’s one of my favorite authors. “Finding the Story” by Steve Rasnic Tem is jam packed with great information on writing short stories and novels. “Fearful Poetry” by Linda Addison not only has plenty of advice to up one’s poetry game, she offers resources as well as venues to submit horror poetry. “The Ouroboros Bites Down” by Laird Barron made me jealous of his ability to generate beautiful prose while inspiring me to up my own game. I adored how he said writing well is akin to bleeding memory. Simply stunning. “Stories in Pieces” by Gemma Files makes a great case for how the epistolary format can be used to create wonderful horror stories. She provides plenty of references including Michael Wehunt’s “The Pine Arch Collection” published in the Dark Magazine, which is a terrific tale that proves her points. “Monstrous Matriculation” by Scott A Johnson explains the pros and cons of MFA programs
Note: The formatting of the ebook could have been better and the problems with the formatting became a distraction.
What?! First review? First rating? Oh man, this has never happened to me before. Okay, Luke. All eyes on you. Be witty, be witty, be witty! ….I got nothing…. Ok that sounded mean. I don’t have anything to say for all the right reasons. I mean look at the title. It delivers what it promises. I read the first volume for one of my horror classes back at Seton Hill University. Since I recently got a gig writing horror stories for a podcast, I wanted a couple of craft books on the genre, and I remember the first volume being very thorough, and this is a direct continuation of it. So yeah, you get what the title promises. Articles and interviews from modern horror writers from different walks of life, each covering a different topic. If I have one complaint it’s that unlike most craft books there’s not really a logical build-up or transition from one topic to the other. Yet, that’s also kind of the book’s strength. While I enjoyed reading it linearly, I think I’m going to get more use out of it for future reference. That way when I’m struggling on a story, I can pull up the table of contents and zip to the appropriate chapter. In short, a must-have reference for fledgling horror writers like myself. And even those more experience, could probably pick up a couple of tricks and some advice.
*I am in this volume (LIFE GOAL) so I may be slightly biased.
Mike Knost is a font of wisdom. As a long term member of the HWA and winner of the Stoker Award for the first volume of this series , he's made invaluable contacts with the heavy hitters of this genre. Every essay is full of advice and craft tips for all levels of writer. Each essay is written in a conversation tone that engages the reader. It's as if you are talking to these giants of genre. At the same time, Mike included people like me who aren't so far along in their career, but have experiences that might lift up other beginning writers or writers suffering form imposter syndrome. So worth the time to read and study. An excellent writing resource that I believe will win the Stoker this year. Check it out.