GET KNOW TO THE LAY OF THE LAND

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Joe Hill -

You want to learn how to write a great hor­ror story? Go out and buy ev­ery vol­ume of Stephen Jones’s an­nual Best New Hor­ror an­thol­ogy, and then read ev­ery story. That’s about 10,000 pages of read­ing. It won’t go down as fast and eas­ily as a click-bait list fea­ture, but when you’re done, you’re go­ing to know what makes a great hor­ror story. Bet­ter still, that knowl­edge will be branded deep, into your un­con­scious, where it will do you the most good. If hor­ror's not your thing then learn the local cus­toms of what you do like. There are sim­i­lar col­lec­tions cov­er­ing just about ev­ery posi­ble genre from high­brow Lit-fie to chrome-plated SF to the filth­i­est erot­ica. For my­self, quite a bit of what I know about writ­ing short sto­ries. I learned from read­ing The Com­plete Sto­ries of Bernard Mala­mud...and readin­git. And Then I went fur­ther and read my fa­vorites a third time, mak­ing notes in the mar­gins about how he achieved cer­tain ef­fects. To a good sen­tences is one that sounds like Mala­mud wrote it.

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