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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Writing Quote: The Goal of the Horror Novelist

I have very strong opinions of what the horror genre should be and this has earned me few friends in the franchised horror product schoolyard. All writers of horror, thriller, drama, and adventure stories, because of the material they consider in their work, are serial killers with a physical OFF switch. They have to put themselves into the heads of their maniac creations. It's so easy to put a knife in someone's eye, that's not the point of horror. The point of horror is to make people feel revolted and oppressed and angered in some fundamental way. One has to get under the skin of the reader. You do this by breaking moral boundaries. You do this by breaking narrative structure. You do this by mixing up genres. The horror writer has to expect to be hated, loathed, derided--for only when he can achieve this status of ogre can his art mean anything to a populace sucked dry by the corporate franchising of the horror ethos.

Mike Philbin in The Writer's Guide to Fantasy and Literature, edited by Philip Martin, 2002 

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