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Monday, October 29, 2007

A Block of Horror

Today I decided to make a list in honor of Halloween, or more appropriately named, the Horror market. While I don't generally like this genre, I recently came across an article written by Stephen King way back in 1973. It's titled "The Horror Market Writer and the Ten Bears." While there was way too much in his article to cover in this blog, I thought I'd share his "Top Ten Bears"--fears people have--that he has used and encourages other horror writers to use when forming their stories.
  1. Fear of the dark
  2. Fear of squishy things
  3. Fear of deformity
  4. Fear of snakes
  5. Fear of rats
  6. Fear of closed-in places
  7. Fear of insects (especially spiders, flies, beetles)
  8. Fear of death
  9. Fear of others (paranoia)
  10. Fear for someone else.

"The bears can be combined, too," King said, but one of his comments that most caught my eye was his opinion about using vampires, werewolves, and mummies. "My humble advice," he said, "is to leave these bears to their well-deserved rest. They've been done to death."

Perhaps that was true back then, but the recent hoopla created by the Twilight series tells me it's resurrection day. Or is it just that the undead have reawakened?

Anyway, back to the bears. While King used this list to illustrate points he made later in his article, he also made it very clear that the above fears are not the only terrors we can use. Most often, writers have their own closeted skeletons they could use to scare the begeebees out of readers. How about you? Do you have any skeletons you'd like to share? I do. Did you know, for instance, I once had a ghost--I'm not kidding--creep up my leg?


Josi said...

Fear of spiders, I can only suspect he didn't put it on there because it's so obvious. Very cool article, and funny how things do cycle through.

iZING said...

For me it's a fear of drowning. Love your blog!

Janette Rallison said...

Hmmm . . . I have a nightmare about being stuck in a polluted lake with gross things bumping up next to me. (Maybe that fits in the slimy category.)

And then of course there's my fear of Hillary Clinton . . .

Jennifer Wilks said...

Your list is exactly why I don't read horror.

But I do have to comment on Twilight. Yes, it is a huge hit and it's about vampires. But wouldn't you agree that there's nothing scary about Edward? :D

Ronda Hinrichsen said...

Jennifer, I totally agree. A couple of months ago, I saw the Twilight series stocked in the horror section of a middle school library, and I was shocked. I didn't think there was anything horrifying about them. But as I think about it, I can see, especially in New Moon and Eclipse, that there are a few "horror"ible scenes. I guess it just proves that when we're "twitter-pated"--admit it, we all are--we fail to see what's really going on around us.