Category Archives: monsters

SOME THOUGHTS ON HORROR

All fiction is shared experience. Authors reach out to some unknown other people, across time and distance, and say: “I felt this.” We look to horror in the same way we look to all genres of fiction, to experience what … Continue reading

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A CASE FOR LITERARY FANTASY

…and science fiction and horror and… every other genre has been made before, and now it’s my turn. I have turned to this subject in the past, including my suggestion that we not forget that fiction—of any genre—is also an … Continue reading

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I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT

A lot of people, I might even go so far as to say most people—including me—lead pretty boring lives, all things being equal. We have certain routines with kids and spouses and work and bills, and other things that add … Continue reading

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A COUPLE DIFFERENT KINDS OF EVIL

When I talk about monsters in Writing Monsters and elsewhere I tend to start by first explaining that when I say “monster” I mean some kind of non-human creature, some kind of unknown animal or other force, usually not terribly … Continue reading

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ANTICIPATORY ANXIETY AND THE LONG PARAGRAPH

Even if they aren’t reading aloud, our readers tend to breathe as if they were. That might not look or even feel exactlythe same as reading aloud, though I have seen people reading in public moving their lips, eyes bugged … Continue reading

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WHY NOT POETRY, TOO?

For the better part of the last half of the twentieth century and all of the twenty-first, so far, the money for creative writers has been in screenplays. This is where you might actually make a million dollars selling a … Continue reading

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IN SEARCH OF THE MACGUFFIN

Apparently coined by screenwriter Angus MacPhail, maybe in the late 1930s, a MacGuffin is a story device that’s as old as stories themselves. Hell, the Golden Fleece is a MacGuffin. Let’s let Alfred Hitchcock, one of the all time masters … Continue reading

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DON’T BE BORING!

Genre authors have one enemy in common and it is boredom. Our number one goal, our Prime Directive, our First Commandment, our first principle is: Never be boring. Our readers come to us for a cure for boredom. I am … Continue reading

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LOVECRAFT’S NOTES ON WRITING WEIRD FICTION

For the first time ever, I’m turning Fantasy Author’s Handbook over to another author, and one who’s been dead for almost eighty-three years. Love him or hate him, H.P. Lovecraft is one of the undying masters of horror and dark … Continue reading

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THE FESTIVAL: EXPLORING WEIRD TALES Vol. 5, No. 1—PART 27

And finally our exploration of the January 1925 issue of Weird Tales has brought us to the magazine’s most famous (some will say infamous) alum: H.P. Lovecraft and his short story “The Festival,” which, though written in 1923, was published … Continue reading

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