Cries from the Catacombs, by @Matthew_NCC1701

Why Write Horror?

Why should you write horror? Why shouldn’t you? You may not even be asking yourselves these questions, because you just know that’s what you want to write about. Perhaps you are like Stephen King who, in an interview early in his career, admitted that he wrote horror because he loved scaring the shit out of people.

Now, don’t ask me to quote the source of that interview. I don’t know. Might have been in a Playboy magazine that I snuck from my dad’s office drawer, I don’t remember. Google it if you want to know if it’s true. I pull a lot of stuff out of my ass-orted memory collection. Sometimes it’s verifiable, sometimes not, but we’re getting off the point here …

First, let’s get one more thing out of the way: I am going to assume if you are reading this, that you are a writer. I will never tell you if you should or should not be a writer. That is for you to decide. Personally, I think writers write because not to write is suicide (I think that’s from Mr King as well. Maybe he should have written this essay!) Even though I’m too lazy to edit, I write every day out of mere compulsion: words just come to my head and I jot them down.

But HORROR! Why this genre and not something like Romance or Sci-Fi or Fantasy or Dummies manuals? I think if you are on this site (thank you, PG Patey, Keeper of the Keys to the Horrorprompt Catacombs), you are attracted to the dark side of fiction, the creeping things, the blood spatter patterns across the dank walls of the crypt, and if you are, then you should write horror.

Again, why? I liken it to something that I heard a comedian say once (again, from my grabbag of things I’ve picked up along the way), that being in a room full of people making jokes about things that make us all mad (i.e. traffic, waiting in lines, flying in economy class, etc.) is cathartic. It is a room of people all laughing together at the same things that make everybody mad, that everybody can come together and it’s a giant emotional release. Then, everyone goes out into the night, feeling a bit better.

It’s similar with horror: write what scares you. Write what you think will scare others. When you do this, you are sharing, and your readers partake, and everybody comes together in a cathartic “safe zone” (i.e. your words on the page/screen) and together, everyone can face the horror equally, and manage it better.

The world is a damn scary place. Most of the time we’ve got no one to share it with, and we wander it alone. Writing horror helps us all to know that we call can face this fear together.

So, pick up that pen or grab that keyboard and start slinging some blood spatter patterns against the wall of that crypt!

By @Matthew_NCC1701

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