How to Write Tales of Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Paperback
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book is a brisk read right up until the chapter on the psychology of horror fiction which, frankly, reads like it was written by a psychologist. It was boring, tedious and felt very out of place among so many good essays.
The only other problem is the chapter at the end that supposedly helps you get published. While I'm sure it was quite helpful at the time it was written (in the mid-1980s), many of the publications it lists are now defunct and many of the practices have changed. It's not a bad section, it is simply past its time.
Regardless, for those who want to learn how to write horror from those who have done it, this book is well worth reading.
It also bothered me that it was structured as "two pages of article, ten pages of short story". (Especially as most of the short stories weren't all the great, IMHO, and most didn't really illustrate the point that the essay prior to them was trying to make.) I felt suckered in by "how to write", when the book was, to be honest, more of a short story collection than a book on writing.
Probably the only bit I'd highly recommend (which might be worth a library check out) is the chapter by J. N. Williamson (who I've never heard of, but who edited the book) on "Plotting as your Power Source". He offered some really good advice on how to plot out novels, which was worth reading. But I'm not sure that I'd pay money for one article that I liked.
There may be a few tidbits here for the inexperienced writer who hasn't already read them elsewhere or figured them out for him/herself. But it's a lot of slogging to find them.