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Writing Horror Fiction (Writing Handbooks) [Paperback]

G Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: £14.99
Price: £11.88 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 May 2007 Writing Handbooks
This writer's guide explains how to write short stories and horror fiction for children and adults. The author shows how to build on the inital idea and develop characters and plot. There are ideas for selecting and approaching publishers and information about contracts and publication.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 116 pages
  • Publisher: Methuen Drama (1 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0713643390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713643398
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.4 x 0.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 842,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

I had my first story published in a local newspaper at the age of 12, followed by 55 more before I was 17. It was a good start to a writing career and I owe much of it to my mother (historical novelist E.M. Weale) who gave me every encouragement. My father, though, was insistent that I followed family tradition and went into banking.

Hence it was twenty years later before I became a full-time author and I had some catching up to do. The 1970's were a boom time for pulp fiction and I made my debut with 'Werewolf by Moonlight' (NEL 1974). It was 'Night of the Crabs', though, which really established me as a writer, virtually overnight in that memorable record, hot summer of 1976. This title was the 'No.1 beach read'. It saw numerous reprints, spawned 5 sequels along with several short stories, as well as a movie.

'Night of the Crabs' enabled me to go full-time. At the time with my wife, Jean, and our four children we were living a reasonably conventional life in Tamworth, Staffordshire. It was time to move on though, and in 1977 we moved to our present home in a remote part of the Shropshire/Welsh border hills.

I was no stranger to country life though, and the further away we were from town and traffic the better. For many years I had been writing for the 'Shooting Times' and several other sporting publications. Then in 1999 I accepted the post of Gun Editor of 'The Countryman's Weekly'. This involved 4-5 articles per week and I relished the challenge.

By this time pulp fiction was virtually out of fashion so diversification suited me, yet my readership has remained faithful to me and technology has made it all possible again with e-books. Thus my backlist is steadily returning to electronic print along with some new books. It is an exciting time.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This is a great guide for anyone interested in writing horror fiction. Guy Smith gives an insight through his own experiences of how to turn ideas into stories, how to collect and research material, how differen't trends within the genre come and go and some general do's and don'ts on your way to writing horror fiction. Plus information on how to submit work to potential publishers and advice on what to do if your work is accepted.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Better off with something else 26 Sep 2006
Bought this recently as I am currently writing a horror novel. It's really of limited value though as the vast majority of information in it could be taken from any standard 'how to write' book.

I have found 'Danse Macabre' by Stephen King to be much more helpful and insightful with regards to the mechanisms of horror, i.e. how does the ghost story work? What's so scary about Dracula etc.

Very disapointed with this although it redeems itself slightly with some info about publishers specific to the genre.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Worst Ever 28 Mar 2004
By JEFF F. HAINES - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've read less-than-helpful guides before, but this is only the second book on writing that I consider bad. So far, of those two, it's the worst.
The author fails to write a guide on horror. When Guy N. Smith does touch on horror, the treatment is cursory. It breezes through writing your novel, never stopping long enough on any point to offer penetrating insight. I can't imagine that Writing Horror Fiction will be of help, even to a beginner, much less someone attempting a full-length novel.
Half-way through this very short (about 100 pages) book the author has already assumed you've finished your manuscript and is talking to you about finding a publisher. I was astonished. We'd just gotten started. The chapter entitled "Starting Your Writing" ends with the two short sections "Completing your book" and "Revising and rewriting." Not only should those subjects have been afforded chapters of their own, plenty more chapters should have fallen in-between. Then Smith fills out the manual (the other 50 pages) with talk about life after publication, plus a handful of other topics.
Although there is a very positive Amazon review about Writing Horror Fiction preceding this one, I think that most of you will agree with mine. You'll feel cheated before reaching the last page. Ever try substituting a bag of potato chips for a meal? That's how I'm feeling right now. Kind of wish I'd forked out a little more cash and bought a sandwich.
It pains me to write this review. I must earnestly advise, Don't buy this book. I'm not even sure I'd recommend it as snack reading. Not unless you see it for sale at the Dollar Tree. That may sound rude of me, but, honestly, the rudeness was on the part of the publisher, purporting this as a helpful guide. Therein lies the horror.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful and informative 23 Oct 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
A great little instruction book for aspiring horror writers, and I do mean little, it only runs about 108 pages. Most of it's contents are aimed at writing a horror novel, but there's also some handy info about writing children's horror novels and short stories. Say what you will about it's author, it's advice is succinct but helpful and while it's geared towards authors in the UK, writer's of all nationalities will benefit from it's advice. Recommended.
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