Mary SanGiovanni is our Celebrity Sunday Guest

Mary S photoMary SanGiovanni is the author of the THE HOLLOWER trilogy (the first of which was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award), THRALL, CHAOS, CHILLS, and the forthcoming SAVAGE WOODS, and the novellas FOR EMMY, POSSESSING AMY, THE FADING PLACE, and NO SONGS FOR THE STARS and the forthcoming A QUIET PLACE AT WORLD’S END, as well as the collections UNDER COVER OF NIGHT, A DARKLING PLAIN, the forthcoming NIGHT MOVES and A WEIRDISH WILD SPACE. Her fiction has appeared in periodicals and anthologies for the last decade. She has a Masters degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, Pittsburgh, where she studied under genre greats. She is currently a member of The Authors Guild, The International Thriller Writers, and Penn Writers, and was previously an Active member in the Horror Writers Association.

cover art savage woods

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Let’s Talk Horror

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Sunday’s Guest spot is on hold.

Instead we will present a Topic Chat on How to write a horror story: 6 terrific tips.

empty rocking chair in a dark roomIs Terror the same as Horror?

Mmm, well, not so much.

 ‘Terror’ describes a state of feeling. Oxford Dictionaries simply define it as ‘extreme fear’. To ‘terrorize’, means to use extreme fear to intimidate others. Horror, however, also suggests elements of disgust and surprise or shock. Thus the word ‘horror’ describes not only extreme fear but also revulsion and a sense of surprise and the unexpected.

The best horror stories share at least five elements in common:

  1. They explore ‘malevolent’ or ‘wicked’ characters, deeds or phenomena.
  2. They arouse feelings of fear, shock or disgust as well as the sense of the uncanny-
  3. Horror books convey intense emotion, mood, tone and environments.
  4. In horror the ghosts and werewolves are very, very real.
  5. Horror tends to deal with morbid situations, from repetitive cycles of violence to death-related uncanny scenarios.

How do you write a horror story or novel like Stephen King, Clive Barker or (looking further back in the genre’s history) Edgar Allan Poe? 

Come to Sunday’s Topic Chat and help us discuss the various aspects Horror and Terror and how to write them.

 

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Horror Month at The Writer’s Chatroom

tell tale heart

Welcome to Horror Month at The Writer’s Chatroom

Sunday’s Topic chat will let us view Horror and Horror Writing from the safety of The Writer’s Chatroom.

“It’s the dark basement where the only thing you can hear is the beating of your own heart.”

tell tale heart

The history of horror is long, dating back to the era of the Inquisitions.  Before delving into the History of Horror we need to define it. Trap it in some way, long enough to have a look at its scary parts. This is no easy task. Horror comes from within and without. Tangible and elusive. We all have fears, the things that keep us awake at night or the things in our dreams that awaken us at night. Some fears are rational others, such as the fear of things to the left of your body are not so rational.

In horror writing it is the writer’s job to frighten the reader. To bring out fears the reader may not even be aware exist.

“For the Horror Writer, the more real, the better. And the scarier. It’s the dark basement where the only thing you can hear is the beating of your own heart. That’s real horror. The kind of stuff that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up, as if someone was standing inches behind you.

inquisitionBut writing horror isn’t so easy. With any type of fiction, it’s difficult to think of something that hasn’t already been done. With horror fiction, it’s especially true. Creepy basements, loud noises from the attic, hidden rooms, Indian burial grounds, old hotels, multiple personality disorder, etc.—it’s all been done before, and it’s all out there. These clichés shouldn’t restrain you, however. They’ve simply defined the space you’re working in. You know what’s there, now create your own story.”

Join us Sunday as we prepare for the arrival of our October Celebrity Guests, Loren Rhoads, Mary SanGiovanni, John Everson and our Quarterly Celebrity Guest Barb Drozdowich.

candy cornResources for Sunday’s chat include The Writers Digest, CM Humphries, 6 Things American Horror Story Can Teach Us About Writing, 5 Elements of a Good Horror Story, a list of phobias and other websites I found while following a trail of candy corn.

 

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Topic Chat – 5 Healthy Writing Habits

Writer’s Chatroom Sunday Chat – Writerly Hygiene

5 Healthy Writing Habits All Aspiring Writers Should Practice

Sunday August 13 7PM ET

Writer’s Chatroom Sunday Chat – Writerly Hygiene

Hand Wash SignWriters aren’t exactly known as the paragons of physical and mental health. Almost prerequisites for the craft, depression and alcoholism have haunted so many eminent writers, including Ernest Hemingway, Stephen King, Edgar Allen Poe, and Sylvia Plath. Although living a stable, healthy lifestyle might be alien to many successful authors, healthy writing habits are not.

Yes, writing is a creative process, but it is also work that demands discipline and routine. As Hemingway said, “Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.” Here are five habits that behoove any aspiring writer to follow.

Critique Chat with Audrey Shaffer is Coming Up on 27 August at 7PM ET Check your Newsletter Reminder for Guidelines.

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