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Writing Lovecraftian Horror

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:33 pm
by EmperorGothon
One of my biggest ambitions is to write a horror story with a Lovecraftian feel to it. That's not to say I use any of HP Lovecraft's characters or anything like that, but I've always been really interested in his way of writing, down to the real feel of horror and helplessness. Somehow, I've never managed to get round to it. Has anyone got any advice on how I can approach this? Originally I had a concept based around an insane asylum (like Lovecraft) and that each person it in had some kind of demon chasing them based on their crime, but I never really got round on completing it.

If anyone has any tips on this I'd love to hear them.

Re: Writing Lovecraftian Horror

PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:28 pm
by who me
Read Edgar Allen Poe, it was what inspired H P Lovecraft.

Re: Writing Lovecraftian Horror

PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:20 am
by EmperorGothon
Cool, that might be a good place to start. TBH, my knowledge of Poe is really limited to the Raven and that's it. However I heard that the Lovecraft story the outsider was based on Poe's writing style.

Re: Writing Lovecraftian Horror

PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:36 am
by who me
look for the Penguin classics H.P. Lovecraft edited by S. T. Joshi these are the the original stories as first published, or written by Lovecraft.
The stories were changed by different editors over time to conform to politically correct forms.

also pay close attention to the Explanatory notes.

the complete works of Edgar Allen Poe.

as well as,
The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian, and other works by Robert E. Howard, who was a close friend of Lovecraft's.

Re: Writing Lovecraftian Horror

PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 4:12 am
by AlexSivier
For me, the core of Lovecraft is the idea of puny mortal humans glimpsing things so ancient, vast and terrible that they have no hope of understanding. Fear comes from ignorance, that is why we are afraid of the dark.
So, my advice is to write a story about a person scratching the surface of something terrible. Never reveal the true extent/nature of the horror, only allow tiny glimpses. Let the reader's imagination fill in the blanks. That is what Lovecraft did so well.

Re: Writing Lovecraftian Horror

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:28 am
by piash006
Lovecraftian horror is a sub-genre of horror fiction which emphasizes the cosmic horror of the unknown

Re: Writing Lovecraftian Horror

PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:26 am
by Jacobgoblin
Writing a horror story is not easy. Trust me, I know. I’ve been doing it for years and it’s only recently that I finally managed to write something that I was satisfied to the point I wanted to get it published. Guys like Stephen King may make it seem easy, but even they had to start somewhere and take time to perfect their craft.

But while writing horror isn’t easy, that doesn’t mean it has to be completely difficult to the point of impossible. So to help you out, here’s five simple tips to help all you aspiring writers out there who want to craft a good horror and make sure it’s not just scary, but entertaining.

1.Read/Watch and Learn

One common tip I’ve learned in any sort of writing class or book is read other people’s work to see how things are done. Obviously, this applies to writing horror, so you’ll want to read other horror stories and novels as well as watch a variety of horror movies. This way you’ll find out what makes a good story and use it in your own work. And I don’t mean just stick to the popular authors like Stephen King or films that made millions of dollars at the box office. Check out other books and films that didn’t do so well, even the ones that completely bombed. Not only will you learn what NOT to do, but you can also look at them and say to yourself, “Okay, what could I do that’s better?” Chances are, you probably might.

2.Choose the Right Kind of Monster

When you usually think of monsters, especially in a horror story, you usually tend to think of creatures of myth and folklore that no one believes in anymore, like ghosts, vampires and the like. These still work for horror stories, as there’s nothing more frightening than having your characters run into something they never thought was real. But human monsters such as serial killers can also work for a horror story, probably more so since people like them actually exist. Most might think that a story involving a serial killer would more of a suspense thriller than a horror story, but that might depend on how things are written. “Saw” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” have human villains, and they’re considered horror films because of the way said villains operate, Jigsaw with his elaborate traps and Leatherface with his chainsaw and mask of human skin. Either kind of monster can work, but with all writing, it just depends on how you use them.

3.Avoid Cliches, Unless They Can Work

Like all pieces of fiction, horror stories have their stereotypes. The killer is some degenerate in a mask who hacks up teenagers who are doing things they shouldn’t. The girls are all brainless bimbos who do everything they shouldn’t so they deserve to get killed. We’ve seen them all in plenty of stories and movies, and they’re more likely to make us groan than scream. If possible, you’ll want to avoid these kinds of things for your story, so that you can entertain your readers rather than bore them. Just because it worked for years a while ago doesn’t mean it’ll fly now. So it’s best to avoid these stereotypes, unless you can find a way to make them work so that it seems fresh and different. This way you’ll have a great story, and your readers will end up thanking you for it.

4.Avoid Excess

Here’s another thing to avoid. I think a lot of us are or were of the opinion that horror had to involve insane amounts of blood, gore and sex, not necessarily in that order. There’s certainly plenty being used these days; just look at the “Saw” films. But that doesn’t mean you have to. Some of the best horror stories have used little to no blood at all and still manage to be scary, leaving things to the imagination of the reader/viewer and somehow making it more frightening. If you do need to use blood, which can be said to be a given, have it be there for a reason and try to be as realistic as possible. You can exaggerate for a little added effect, but not so much to the point of total disbelief. As for sex… This one’s a little iffy and may depend on where you’re publishing your story, as many publishers have guidelines regarding this. In the end, it’s usually your call. Like blood and gore, the sex should have a point and be there for a reason, and it doesn’t always have to be in such descriptive detail to make it porn. As the saying goes, you can have too much of a good thing.

5.No Happy Endings

Here’s a mistake I made plenty of times in my early works, where everything’s all right and everyone walks off to live their lives. Don’t think so. You’re writing horror, not a romance story. And there are no happy ending in horror. Just because the hero and/or heroine finds the corpse of the creepy ghost girl and gives it a proper burial doesn’t mean the terror will end. Heck, it might just make things worse. And even if there is a survivor or two of the psycho killer’s rampage, there’s no way they’ll be able to go back to their normal lives like nothing happened. The killer might not even be dead, but instead show up a few months to a year later to finish what he started. Not to mention the fact that other people are dead and plenty of hell was raised to get to that point, so what’s there to be happy about? This is one area where you can really provide a twist to the story, making the reader wonder what might happen afterwards.

And that should do it. Five simple tips to help you write a horror story to the best of your ability. If this doesn’t help you, nothing will, so get out there and start writing. And good luck scaring folks to death.
[link removed. Bmat] (note by Bmat: this essay came from ... ng-horror/ by Jeremy Mullin in 2008. So if the poster is not Jeremy Mullin, then somebody is plagiarizing. }

Re: Writing Lovecraftian Horror

PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:40 am
by Asp Zelazny
Woah! Bmat .... you're a tiger today!

Re: Writing Lovecraftian Horror

PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:23 pm
by who me
B-mat is always a tiger. mostly you just don't see her.
which is exactly like a tiger.