Writing in the Dark

Raw Dog Screaming: Dog Star. Sept. 2020. 236p. ISBN 9781947879195. pap. $19.95. comm
After years of teaching and publishing, Waggoner (They Kill) was asked enough times why he writes horror that he decided to explain it the best way he knew how, by sharing his techniques and thoughts in an accessible, useful, and engaging textbook. Drawing on both personal experience and the advice and thoughts of dozens of horror authors and editors from around the world, Waggoner’s writing guide is also a deep dive into the genre itself. He breaks down popular tropes, describes how to draw out visceral responses in readers, and advocates for the importance of horror stories in all of our lives, including lively exercises and discussion questions at the end of each chapter.
VERDICT This excellent writing guide by an accomplished author and teacher will enhance all collections with its instruction. It’s also a fun read that elucidates the appeal of horror while also functioning as a solid readers’ advisory resource.
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