Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Review of Where Nightmares Come From: The Art of Storytelling in the Horror Genre - Crystal Lake Publishing

I just finished this collection of essays and interviews on writing, and it did not disappoint. There are essays on writing method, what makes horror, deciding the format that best fits your story, using language to bring stories alive, where ideas come from, and so much more. There are interviews with top authors in our genre which serve to shed light on the process of collaboration, and other interviews with editors that put together some of the best anthologies around. There is even a simulated roundtable discussion among writers and directors of some excellent work.

Each piece in this book shows another aspect or angle on writing. Want to explore writing for movies and books, but don't know what is right for you? Choosing the Right Medium for Your Story and Yourself, by Taylor Grant, is the perfect place to start. You'll find yourself weighing pros and cons about each medium that you may never have thought of before.

Perhaps you want to know how a television series can come about? Read about Z Nation in How Syfy's Hit Undead Show Came to Life, by Craig Engler. What started out as a Syfy original movie saw great success, going on to become a hit television show. What creative decisions were made to change the format? What is a story engine? Read about the process.

Perhaps you love Stephen King and Richard Chizmar's  new book, Gwendy's Button Box (which I really enjoyed). There is an excellent interview with them in this book. How did the story come about? How did the two authors blend their styles so seamlessly?

There is a short interview with Charlaine Harris, in which she discusses storytelling. There is an article on life imitating art, where nightmares come from, creating short stories, putting together an anthology, trusting in your publisher, writing horror-based media tie-ins, and even a great article on creepypasta. In short, there is a little of everything.

I believe this book has something for everyone. The writing is superb. The selection of contributors is top-grade. I learned more than I expected, and I plan on reading it again in the near future. This is a great gift idea for the writer in your life. Christmas time is coming soon.


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