This week: Romantic Horror StoriesEdited by: Lonewolf
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Horror and Romance are a unique blend of both creepy and Romantic themes. However, they didn't use to be genres that were normally thought of together, but both horror and romance are a part of life. There are many great horror stories that use romance to build tension. On one hand, you have human beings that are anything, but normal. Then you have Vampires, Werewolves, and ghosts that can be heroes, heroines, foes, or villains. There are no limitations for the author in terms of world-building, no rules, for what can or can't be done with people, settings and plot.
One of the earliest examples of 'Romance' in horror is Dracula. The vampire at its most horrible is a seductive creature able to control people through emotions. One of the reasons this is so scary is because it is not easy to understand. When people are in love they do not think straight. They tend to make decisions that they would never make while single. The idea that love is blind is a very valuable idea to expand upon while telling this type of story.
Something that is often needed in horror is a reason for someone to do something that would otherwise be very stupid. Love is the perfect choice for this. Having the protagonists' lover disappear is one possibility but not always the best. Perhaps the romantic interest has become a monster and the hero/heroine must try to defeat it or perhaps they have a disease that forces the protagonist into situations he or she would otherwise never get into.
Being in love with someone means that there are now two people that you have to protect and protecting other people is often harder. This can give the protagonist a reason not to simply flee a situation. In addition, threatening a loved one may in some ways be worse than threatening the protagonist. There are a lot of other ways to explore this vulnerability as well and all of them can be explored better in horror than in almost any other genre.
One of the most important things in a horror story is not knowing. Anyone who has heard anyone explain anything about the movie Jaws knows that the reason it was scary is that you didn't see the shark. Love can be a shark. How do you know that someone is really in love with you and not lying? The fear that you may be controlled, manipulated, or that they simply do not love you is always scary; and horror can use this.
Romance is one of the most vulnerable and scary things that people put themselves through. Using that in your horror story can give you a lot of value. Whether it is a monster that makes a person fall in love or the simple drive of being in love, they can all do a great job of making a horror story seem both more real and scary. Write passionately and try not to focus on what others are doing or have done. Write something all your own, but be sure to stay consistent with it.
When writing any story that includes another genre, in this case, Romance and Horror. You must abide by your own rules within the world you create otherwise it comes off wrong and your readers won't be able to stick with the story in a satisfying way.
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