So I’ll be honest, horror is not my genre. I very rarely pick up books that are considered horror mainly because I have many triggers that are tropes for horror. For that reason, this post will probably seem a little disjointed and a lot more educational than personal.
Horror is designed by fear. This fear could be of the supernatural, this fear could be Jason in the woods killing teenagers at a camp, and/or this fear could even be being stuck in a monotonous loop that you can’t get out of. Clearly, based on my lack of experience in the genre, I’m not a huge fan of fear. However, there are a lot of people who enjoy being afraid, which all power to ya. There are books that you can find “scary” that are not horror books, just as there are books that are universally accepted as “horror” that you may think is not scary. Horror is probably one of the hardest genre (imo) to classify because everyone has different triggers and different levels of response.
In a Google search of popular writers within the genre, H.P. Lovecraft, Mary Shelley, and Stephen King are among the most common names I have seen. Surprisingly (or maybe not so), there are few authors in the YA genre that are also in this list. From personal experience, Laurie Faria Stolarz is a really good YA horror writer (and I personally think her stuff is scarier that Stephen King’s *shots fired*).
So, here are my tips for you guys:
- Know what triggers you. While it feels weird telling you my kryptonite, but I am triggered by paranormal, especially demonic, activity. I have noticed in my time as an avid reader, I can handle a lot more while I am reading, but I can’t handle watching. So if there is a movie for the books I am reading in the horror genre, I probably won’t watch it. Know your limits and be willing to give yourself the chance to walk away when needed.
- Figure out what gives you the biggest rush. The entire purpose for the genre is to have you experience fear, so figure out what will cause that. But be willing to try out things that are outside of that. There is a scene in Divergent where Tris finds out that she is afraid of something after experiencing someone else’s fear dream. Sometimes you won’t know unless you are willing to try.
- Which leads to the final tip: try. As amazing as popular horror writers are, there are many less popularized authors that are killing it in the genre. Try new books, new authors, and new ideas; you never know what you will discover.
If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!