By: Daphne M. Matthews of the Crazee Chixz
If you have to ask what horror is, then you’ve never been scared out of your pants. Well, by a book anyway. The horror genre’s primary purpose is to create: repulsion, dread, fear, and terror.
The definition of horror, according to the Literary Terms site is derived “…from the Old French horror, meaning ‘to shudder or to bristle.’” That site goes on to say that this genre “…has roots in religion, folklore, and history; focusing on topics, fears, and curiosities that have continuously bothered humans in both the 12th and 21st centuries alike.”
Horror lives on the fears of its audiences most terrifying thoughts and fears. Horrific deaths, evil of the worst kind, supernatural powers used to disform and dismember family and friends, the worst fears of what the afterlife will look like, creatures that can’t be explained like “The Thing” or “Michael Myers” who just won’t die. Witchcraft is also a huge theme in the horror genre.
There are three sub-genres in horror:
No matter what type of horror you want to write, your job is to scare your reader. Horror readers want to be frightened and they expect it every time they pick up a book that you tell them is in the horror classification. If you classify your work as horror and then your story does not frighten your reader and leave them on the edge of their seats, then you have let that reader down. That reader will never return to you. That reader will never trust you again.
So, if you want to write horror; then, want to read horror. Want to give your readers the same types of feelings and emotions that you enjoy and expect when you read horror. The old saying, “Know what you write” is very true. But, let me add: “Know how to write what you write.”