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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/newsletters/action/archives/id/11160-Exploring-Horror-Sub-genres.html
Horror/Scary: January 12, 2022 Issue [#11160]




 This week: Exploring Horror Sub-genres
  Edited by: Lilli ☕️
                             More Newsletters By This Editor  

Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

Horror has been around since people started telling tales - so, a really long time! Believe it or not, it actually originated in Ancient Rome and Greece with roots in folklore and religious traditions. In those days stories were taken at face value as truth, and the horror stories of those days contained themes of death, demons, evil spirits, and the afterlife. Stories featuring demons, witches, vampires, werewolves, and ghosts were common. European horror stories were influenced by those of these ancient civilizations, and horror as a genre gained momentum within the eighteenth century with the creation of the gothic novel, a genre of horror that focuses primarily on death. An excellent example of a horror writer of this time is Edgar Allan Poe.

Today, modern horror hosts a wide variety of scare tactics. New elements and contemporary themes such as psychological horror, body horror, gore, and slasher stories help inspire horror writers and enthusiasts everywhere. It has also opened the door to horror mixing with other genres such as fantasy to create new subgenres like paranormal horror. One must only look to horror god Stephen King for the perfect example of what modern horror looks like.


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Letter from the editor

In order to effectively weave a sub-genre into your horror story, we must understand some of the common elements/characteristics of horror.

*Skull* Emotional, physcological or physical response
*Skull* "Fear" reaction
*Skull* "Fight or flight" reaction
*Skull* Humans or monsters preying on one another
*Skull* A rush of adrenaline or excitement
*Skull* Elements that make the reader think
*Skull* Challenging preconceptions
*Skull* A reminder that the world is not as safe as we think
*Skull* A threatening menace
*Skull* An impure menace


Here is a list of Sub-genres that pair well with horror:

*DropR* Comedy
          Bringing out the 'bright side' in horror, this subgenre can manifest as either a satire or a spoof of traditional horror themes.

*DropR* Young Adult
          Catering to a teenage crowd, it makes sense for the protagonist to be a teen themselves. This is a more subdued version of horror and no excessive gore in this subgenre.

*DropR* Historical
          Set in a historical time period, generally before the 20th century, with the added benefit of magic. Based on real-life events or historical eras, it may include a fictional retelling of real historical figures or atrocities that occurred, providing a twist to known historic events.

*DropR* Occult
          Witchcraft, wizardry, esoteric brotherhoods, and communication with spirits abound in this subgenre. Other common themes and tropes are spiritualism, psychic phenomena, Voodoo, and characters who have mysterious or secret knowledge and power supposedly attainable only through magical or supernatural means.

*DropR* Mythic
          Folklore and mythology take a dark turn in this subgenre. This is counted in the horror genre rather than in the fantasy category because it takes place in the human world rather than in a fictional one.

*DropR* Hauntings
          Ghosts or demons haunt a particular house or another setting, such as woods, ancient burial grounds, abandoned insane asylums, etc. The focus is often on correcting a wrong that was committed in order to set the spirits free.

*DropR* Gothic
          A more romantic take on horror, it involves mystery, castle ruins, the fall of the aristocracy, spirits/hauntings, and madness. The varying locations in the house tend to be symbolic of the mental and emotional facets of its occupants. It ties themes of horror, death, and romance together.

Editor's Picks

 
BOOK
Finding Utopia  (GC)
It starts with zombies and then gets weirder!
#1366976 by Grandma Penguin is Vaccinated


 
STATIC
Mayberry Hill House  (13+)
What will happen when a writer gets wind of a local Haunted House?
#2264516 by Pennywise


 
BOOK
At the End  (18+)
At the end, could you tell if you were in heaven or hell?
#2264429 by H. Shizuka


 
STATIC
Prey  (18+)
Michelle Stewart is snowed-in with a hungry python...
#2153506 by J. Robert Kane


STATIC
Christmas at the Pass  (18+)
Screams 12/24
#2263950 by WriterAngel


 
STATIC
The Weaver's Daughters  (E)
When the candles are lit, they will hear and answer you for a price.
#2263946 by M.D Schultz


 
STATIC
Until the ink runs dry   (E)
In a shop built on busy streets sits a bottle of ink thirsting for blood.
#2263682 by M.D Schultz


STATIC
Yuletide Terror   (18+)
A young couple settle in for a pleasant evening but the storm brings more than snow...
#2263637 by Sire, Yer Craven

 
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Word from Writing.Com

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Ask & Answer

Thank you for theses comments received from "Horror/Scary Newsletter (December 15, 2021):

From ~SilverMoon~ 🌌
Hello Lilli,
Good job on this. Lots of useful information. Unfortunately, my mind is temporarily not working so well to fully understand anything. Not your fault. I probably need to order the book below your newsletter.


From Blimprider
First, let me thank you for highlighting my short story "Sea Story. I'm seeing a bit more traffic on it already.

Second, what a great article on the symbols of horror! I wonder just how much writers consciously think about them, though. I write horror, and I know I don't. I just write about things that I instinctively feel are, well, horrible. In Sea Story it's a cephalopod. Smart and fascinating animals, but at a visceral level, terrifying. Eight or ten arms, all individually controlled, lined with suction cups, so if even one touches you, you're caught, and all for the purpose of drawing you into the flesh-shredding beak. One of the masters wrote a story about being eaten alive by an octopus ca. 1900, so I'm hardly the first one to be inspired by the ick factor of these things.

But again, an excellent and useful article. It will certainly be something for me to think about the next time I return to the Composition window!


From Steven is writering
Another symbol vital in horror is the symbology of numbers. 13 is obvious - bad luck. 3 is the trinity, holy or unholy. 5 is the points on the pentagram. 7 is a good luck number commonly subverted in horror, plus the number of deadly sins. Numbers give subtle hints to things that might be upcoming.
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