Tag Archives: The Stand

Genres of Literature – Horror


horror-genre

Horror is a genre of fiction, of which, the defining trait is to provoke a response; either emotional, psychological or physical, within readers that causes them to react with fear, dread, disgust, or is frightfully shocking, terrifying, or revolting and even startles it’s readers with the text.

Horror: Ancient Greece and Rome

This genre has ancient origins with roots in folklore and religious traditions, which focused on death, the afterlife, evil, the demonic and also a ‘thing’ embodied in the person. This manifested as stories of witchcraft, vampires, werewolves, and ghosts.

Horror: Medieval Era

Much of horror fiction derived itself from the cruelest faces in world history, particularly those who lived in the fifteenth-century. “Dracula” can be traced to the Prince of Wallachia Vlad III, whose alleged war crimes were published in German pamphlets in the late Fifteenth Century and resulted in stories of horrifying detail.

Gothic horror: 18th century

Slowly the horror genre became traditional Gothic literature. 18th century Gothic horror drew on sources of seminal and controversial elements of the supernatural instead of pure realism.

Horror: 19th century

After the Gothic tradition blossomed the genre became the horror literature we now know in the 19th century. Influential works and characters still continue to resonate, such as Brother’s Grimm and Hansel & Gretel (1812) and of course Frankenstein (1818) and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. (1820)

Horror:20th century

Cheap periodicals became prolific at the turn of the century, leading to a boom in horror writing. Horror writers of the time included H.P. Lovecraft pioneering cosmic horror and M.R. James redefining the ghost story. Also the serial murderer became a recurring theme.

Contemporary horror fiction

As most of you know Stephen King is my hero and it is the best-known contemporary horror writer. His stories have delighted and frightened many of us for decades, from Carrie to Sleeping Beauties and all those tales in-between.

I have to admit as a prolific reader of Mr. King, I am wary of ever writing a horror story because I don’t think I can measure up to his expertise.

Do you write horror? What theme do you favor?

What horror writers/books have you read and ‘enjoyed’?

 

 

My Homage to a Favorite Author…


Homage – definition: something that shows respect or attests to the worth or influence of another

stephen_king

Most of you know I am a great Stephen King fan. Even though, to date, I have not written a horror novel, Stephen’s skillful writing has inspired me. Although, at the time I had no idea who had written the story, I went to view Carrie (the original) with teen friends one evening. I was so captivated by the movie I went back to the cinema the next afternoon alone to watch it again. That is powerful. Decades later shortly before boarding a plane for a nine hour flight, I browsed through the airport terminal’s book store and picked up the thickest book I could find. The blurb was intriguing. The book was The Stand. Not only did I read this book on the flight but for most of my vacation. I found it almost impossible to put down. Since then, I have re-read The Stand several times. Once I found Stephen’s work, I bought every single issue and impatiently awaited a new book. He could not write and publish fast enough (poor man!) Then I found Richard Bachman was a pen name and this gave me more books to purchase and read veraciously.

I think Stephen’s skill is taking a basic fear and developing it into a realistic story of human emotions and courage. If you have not read The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, I encourage you to. This novel is basically one character and superbly written. To be able to master writing Stephen has quoted:  “Read and write four to six hours a day. If you cannot find the time for that, you can’t expect to become a good writer.” He sets out each day with a quota of 2000 words and will not stop writing until it is met. He also has a simple definition for talent in writing: “If you wrote something for which someone sent you a check, if you cashed the check and it didn’t bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.”

Stephen’s fifty novels (and counting) have sold over 350 million copies…I would be happy with a fraction of that figure. For those interested : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_King

I do read other authors and genres, which include James Long and Kate Morton. Every author who resonates with me are skillful with their characters, locations and plot.

Who are your inspirations?

Do you write the same genre or others?

This house is part of a series of drawings on Stephen’s headed notepaper. My letter from Stephen is my most prized possession.

English: Stephen King's House in Bangor, Maine
English: Stephen King’s House in Bangor, Maine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)