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BOOK DEAL: Tim Waggoner’s Horror Writing Guide

Writing in the Dark

Raw Dog Screaming Press (RDSP) is pleased to announce a deal for Writing in the Dark, a non-fiction book on the craft of writing from Bram Stoker Award Winning author and professor of writing, Tim Waggoner. Writing in the Dark provides authors with the tools needed to produce original horror stories that are frightening, entertaining, and well-written. It will be released under RDSP’s non-fiction imprint, Guide Dog Books.

“Written for both beginning writers and established pros, my ultimate goal with Writing in the Dark is to help people write kick-ass horror and to contribute – if only in a small way – to the genre I love,” Waggoner said.

The book draws on his thirty-five-year career as a both writer and creative writing teacher and will also contain interviews with some of the best horror writers, editors, and publishers working today. Each chapter will include exercises to spark readers’ creativity and help them sharpen their skills.

 “I’m extremely excited to be working with Raw Dog Screaming Press! Jennifer Barnes and John Edward Lawson have been putting out stellar work for years, and I know they’ll do a fantastic job with my book. Writing in the Dark couldn’t be in better hands,” Waggoner said.

Besides winning a Stoker Award, Waggoner been a finalist multiple times for both the Shirley Jackson Award and the Scribe Award and is a tenured professor of creative writing at a college in Ohio.

“We’ve known Tim a long time and have always admired his work. His blog posts on writing are always heartfelt and on point and he has been recognized for his work as a mentor and teacher. There’s nobody better to get writing advice from,” said RDSP editor Jennifer Barnes.

The book is expected to be out sometime in 2020.

Writing in the Dark, Information–

Writing in the Dark: A Guide to Writing Horror will provide readers with the tools needed to produce original stories that are frightening, entertaining, and well-written. Waggoner will draw on his thirty years’ experience as a writer and creative writing teacher for this book, and interview a number of the best horror writers, editors, and publishers working today and include excerpts from those interviews in each chapter. Each chapter will also contain exercises to spark readers’ creativity and help them sharpen their skills.

Proposed Contents:

INTRODUCTION

An introduction to horror writing from a well-known writer/editor.

CHAPTER ONE: WHY HORROR MATTERS

Why horror is a popular – and important – literary genre.

CHAPTER TWO: THINGS UNKNOWN

Fear of the unknown is at the core of all good horror fiction.

CHAPTER THREE: EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS WRONG

Horror comes from a violation of what characters view as reality.

CHAPTER FOUR: HELLO DARKNESS, MY OLD FRIEND

Varieties of horror fiction and horror-adjacent genres, such as dark science fiction, dark suspense, and dark fantasy.

CHAPTER FIVE: STRANGE NOTIONS

Where do you get your weird ideas?

CHAPTER SIX: DONE TO DEATH

How to avoid clichés and write original horror fiction.

CHAPTER SEVEN: WHERE NO MONSTER HAS GONE BEFORE

How to build a better monster.

CHAPTER EIGHT: THE HORROR WRITER’S PALETTE

Using Dread, Terror, Horror, Shock, and Disgust in your writing.

CHAPTER NINE: THE HORROR HERO’S JOURNEY

Horror fiction’s version of the Hero’s Journey and how to use to generate ideas and plot stories.

CHAPTER TEN: DOWN TO THE BONE

Horror fiction is most effective when written with a close point of view.

CHAPTER ELEVEN: R-E-S-P-E-C-T

How to make your characters sympathetic – including characters who will become casualties during the course of your story.

CHAPTER TWELVE: HURTS SO GOOD

Characters in horror fiction suffer more than physical pain: there’s emotional, psychological, and spiritual pain as well.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN: THE PHYSIOLOGY OF FEAR

How fear affects the mind and body, and how it affects your characters’ actions and decisions.

CHAPTER FOURTEEN: THE END IS ONLY THE BEGINNING

Don’t save your best idea for the end. Begin with it and build the story from that point on.

CHAPTER FIFTEEN: TELL ME A SCARY STORY

Different narrative structures that work well in horror fiction.

CHAPTER SIXTEEN: A MATTER OF STYLE

Stylistic techniques for writing effective horror fiction.

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: THE ART OF SUSPENSE

Techniques for creating and maintain suspense.

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: LET THEM FIGHT!

Writing effective action scenes in horror fiction.

CHAPTER NINETEEN: THERE ARE NO LIMITS, BUT . . .

How to deal effectively with what can sometimes be extreme and violent content.

CHAPTER TWENTY: AUGURIES AND OMENS

Marketing your horror fiction to agents, editors, and readers.

APPENDIX A: FURTHER RESOURCES

Resources for further reference.

APPENDIX B: HORRIBLE WRITING PROMPTS

A list of prompts to spark readers’ creativity and get them writing.

Tim Waggoner, Biography

Tim Waggoner’s first novel came out in 2001, and since then he’s published over forty-five novels and seven collections of short stories. He writes original dark fantasy and horror, as well as media tie-ins. His novels include Like Death, considered a modern classic in the genre, and the popular Nekropolis series of urban fantasy novels. He’s written tie-in fiction based on Supernatural, Grimm, The X-Files, Alien, Doctor Who, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Transformers, among others, and he’s written novelizations for films such as Kingsman: the Golden Circle and Resident Evil: the Final Chapter. His articles on writing have appeared in Writer’s Digest, Writer’s Journal, Writer’s Workshop of Horror, Horror 101, and Where Nightmares Come From.

In 2017 he received the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Long Fiction, and he’s been a finalist multiple times for both the Shirley Jackson Award and the Scribe Award. His fiction has received numerous Honorable Mentions in volumes of Best Horror of the Year, and he’s had several stories selected for inclusion in volumes of Year’s Best Hardcore Horror.

In addition to writing, he’s also a full-time tenured professor who teaches creative writing and composition at Sinclair College in Dayton, Ohio.

Find Tim online at his website, Twitter, or Instagram.


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