Tt’s been predicted for years that horror in YA would make a big comeback, especially with the success of novels such as Rick Yancy’s THE MONSTRUMOLOGIST. Since I’m a 90’s kid, this is thrilling to me. I learned to love reading when R. L. Stine’s GOOSEBUMPS and Alvin Schwartz’s SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK were in their heyday.
There’s something about horror that kids adore. This isn’t a new concept, as anyone who’s spent any time around a campfire can attest. Horror stories are similar to a roller coaster, in that the reader can experience terrifying things while knowing they are still safe.
It is, however, an incredibly difficult genre to write. It’s similar to humor, in that the outcome has to be unexpected and yet believeable. Gore can give a quick and cheap thrill, but it lacks the substance of true psychological terror.
What are some of your favorite horror novels? Why?
I’m still livin’ off of WIFYR. Which reminded me about the last 1 hour workshop I went to there: David Powers King on the “Psychology of Heroes, Villains, and Everyone Else.” It was fun, sometimes funny, interactive and VERY interesting. Here are a few snippets from my notes:
What is a Hero?
Helps others at expense of his own safety and rises to the occasion
Usually the lead in the story
Tends to support moral choices
Motivates others to do good
What is Villain?
Acts in interest of self; may strive to fulfill a perceived morality
Choices often made at expense of others
Usually the lead antagonist of the story
Has wicked, cool outfits!
Who is Everyone Else?
Everyone in that world is affected by the hero/villain
Exists in a neutral zone
Supports hero or villain or fights against them, depending on side they’re on
Gray “pool” of potential heroes/villains
Also note, there are no rules against having more than one hero or villain in any one story.
Any action may prompt a response: this is the cycle every character must make every second of every day.
Do your hero and villain both fit the above profiles? Do your other characters fit their profile above?
I’m thinking of changing this to Three Thongs Thursday.
What do you think?