In this comprehensive textbook devoted to the craft of writing horror fiction, award-winning author Tim Waggoner draws on thirty years’ experience as a writer and teacher. Writing in the Dark offers advice, guidance, and insights on how to compose horror stories and novels that are original, frightening, entertaining, and well-written.
Waggoner covers a wide range of topics, among them why horror matters, building viable monsters, generating ideas and plotlines, how to stylize narratives in compelling ways, the physiology of fear, the art of suspense, avoiding clichés, marketing your horror writing, and much more. Each chapter includes tips from some of the best horror professionals working today, such as Joe Hill, Ellen Datlow, Joe R. Lansdale, Maurice Broaddus, Yvette Tan, Thomas Ligotti, Jonathan Maberry, Edward Lee, and John Shirley. There are also appendices with critical reflections, pointers on the writing process, ideas for characters and story arcs, and material for further research.
Winner of the 2021 Bram Stoker Award for best work of nonfiction, Writing in the Dark derives from Waggoner’s longtime blog of the same name. Suitable for classroom use, intensive study, and bedside reading, this essential manual will appeal to new authors at the beginning of their career as well as veterans of the horror genre who want to brush up on their technique.
TIM WAGGONER has published close to forty novels and three collections of short stories. He writes original dark fantasy and horror as well as media tie-ins, and his articles on writing have appeared in scores of publications. In 2017, he received the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Long Fiction, he’s been a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award and the Scribe Award, and his fiction has received numerous Honorable Mentions in volumes of Best Horror of the Year. Waggoner teaches creative writing and composition at Sinclair College in Dayton, Ohio.