The Power Of Story—Part 1

Note: This is not a horror writing blog. However, if you are interested in horror writing please see Nightlight: The Black Horror Podcast. On the show with Tananarive Due (9/19/20) there is a mention of a on-line horror writing class: The Sunken Place: Racism, Survival & Black Horror. This class is taught by Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes.

Story. Noun

  1. an account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment.
  2. an account of past events in someone’s life or in the evolution of something.

Most writing is based around this simple idea, tell the reader something they haven’t known, would like to know, or would like to entertain them. Sometimes, the things that scare us–are some of the oldest stories we ever learn.

With this autumnal mood apparent, the one thing, I will remind you of when you begin writing is the myths are powerful things, ancient things even! This is none more apparent that in the genre of horror or speculative fiction. It is the myth which gives basis and foundation for what it is you want to create. One of the things about horror writing which is both tricky and amazing is being about to master what scares you, what scares other people and how do you make that make sense. The way you do this is myth!

What people are normally afraid of is most often based in or around a story. A myth is a story! You need an idea on which to base the thing which will scare other people–with a myth being a story, it is easily relayed, repeated and built upon if necessary.

Just think about it!

Most of the troupes we find in literature are based in or off of myths. Using horror as our hook of sorts we see this clearly. From the myth of vampires, have troupes of blood drinking, needing coffins, and incineration from sunlight (remember, a troupe is a formula!). Do not dismiss the power of a myth, and what it will add to your story or WIP. You want to give your story all you have, whether it be the first or last draft.

Keep going.

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