Insecure Writers Want to Know
Did I ever tell you about the time I slept with all the lights on at night, humming to myself to keep myself awake all night? No? Okay, I’ll tell you now.
It was during the semester of one of my writing seminars at the University of Pennsylvania. I took the From Murder Most Foul to the Explicit Corpse course. I love mysteries. The whodunit. The cerebral puzzle of it all. Agatha Christie, Mary Higgins Clark, or Murder She Wrote. I thought the course would be about cozies. I should have paid better attention to the specific language chosen for the course title.
This course was filled with gritty police procedurals, graphic violence, CSI episodes where they go inside the corpse. And of course, many stories from the master of creepy and scary: Edgar Allan Poe. I believe my aversion to horror stories began with a Poe movie, The Pit and the Pendulum. Does anyone remember the movie with Vincent Price as the lead? I watched it as a child with my family. And yes! I still have occasional nightmares about it.
But back to the semester I took the horror story course by mistake. My sleeplessness lasted the entire semester. Yep! 15 weeks! So, horror and scary stories and I don’t get along. At all! I’m a big chicken. I’ll admit it. That being said, I can’t read, write, or watch horror stories. I prefer creating adventure stories with danger and excitement. No graphic corpses. No grisly ends to people’s lives.
I am lucky, though. My August writing event on character arcs became a true discussion. We shared books we were reading, movies we’ve seen and discussed how the characters grew and changed. Or didn’t. Forrest Gump. He didn’t actually change in the story. Yes, he grew up and did things. But the power of that story is how Gump changed those around him. What do you think? Am I right?
My next in-person Workshop Event will be at the Maple Shade Library in New Jersey. If you are in the area, please stop by. I’d love to meet you. This is a free writing event for participants.
Here are the details:
Thursday, September 15, 2022, at 2 p.m.
“The Poetic Form”
Maple Shade Library
200 Stiles Ave.
Maple Shade, New Jersey 08052
(856) 779-9767, ext. 311
Please register for the event at the Burlington County Library System.
Now I’m off to see how you’ve tackled this month’s question. It’s wonderful having a topic to share our thoughts on each month. I am extremely thankful for all of you for being my sounding board and advisors on this writing and publishing journey.
Thanks for stopping by my little spot on the web. Please come again!
This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I’d like to thank our co-hosts for September: Kim Lajevardi, Cathrina Constantine, Natalie Aguirre, Olga Godim, Michelle Wallace, and Louise – Fundy Blue! Please visit them if you can.
Our group posts on the first Wednesday of every month. To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.
20 thoughts on “What Genre Would Be the Worst One for You to Tackle and Why?”
Glad the workshop went well. Good point that Forrest never changed but he changed everyone else.
I think real life is far scarier which is why horror doesn’t bother me.
Thank you, Alex!
Now you see, I feel that because life is scary, I don’t want to read about scary things. I like things ordered. I like the bad guy to get his due. Because things don’t always work out for the better in life, I need my fiction to work out. And yes! I’m just a big chicken!
Happy IWSG day!
Glad your workshop went well. I’m not a fan of horror either. I don’t watch or read it so I don’t get scared.
Me too, Natalie! Life itself is too scary. I don’t need to see or read it for entertainment.
Thank you for your kind words. Have a beautiful day!
I do enjoy horror sometimes but I think the suspense is scarier than all the graphic details. It’s hard to get right so it’s probably another genre I would struggle with!
Ooo, yes, Nick! The suspense in horror would be worse. Because you know the graphic violence will be next. Nuts! Excuse me while I turn on all my lights in the house.
Have a great week!
I hear you. Horror disturbs my emotional balance and disrupts my sleep.
Pat G @ EverythingMustChange
Absolutely, Patricia! Thanks for visiting Adventures in Writing. Please stop by again. Happy Sunday!
Life is scary, so why add horror to it. I’ll pass, thank you. Give me a happy ending anytime…even if there is angst along the way.
I’m with you, Liza! I need happy endings because life doesn’t always have them. And of course, we need angst in story for tension. Always.
Thanks for visiting Adventures in Writing. Please stop by again. Happy Sunday!
Certain horror stories freak me out too, but others don’t. So, I have a mixed relationship with the genre.
Interesting, Kim. Hmm…no. I’m freaked out by all horror stories.
Thanks so much for your note here at Adventures in Writing. Please stop by again. Have a beautiful day!
The explicit corpse! I would have run right out of the seminar and dropped the course, Victoria! Horror and violence and gristly ends are more than I can handle. So I rarely read horror stories, and I never watch horror movies. Good luck with your upcoming seminar!
The problem was I was on scholarship. This was one of the first courses I took at my new university. I couldn’t drop it. I didn’t handle the course material very well either, Louise.
Thank you so much for your good wishes for my upcoming seminar. I truly appreciate it. Have a beautiful Sunday!
I think I’d probably scare myself writing horror stories as well. LOL! Good luck with your seminar!
Oh, I would definitely scare myself, if I could even get it on the page!
Thank you for your good wishes for my seminar. Truly appreciated. Thanks for stopping by Adventures in Writing. All best to you!
I’m with you on horror stories. They are a big NO for me.
Interesting revelation about Forrest Gump. I saw that movie long ago but I still remember it. In a way, that approach resonates with the topic of my own post this month. The heroine of my flash stories also doesn’t change. She affects the change in the others, although of course, she is nowhere as iconic as Forrest Gump.
Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing! I’m so glad you stopped by.
Good for you, Olga, for having a heroine who affects change in others. This is an important thing in story. Bravo! I love the Forrest Gump movie. Have a beautiful day!
I agree! Horror/thrillers don’t entertain me enough to be worth the anxiety! How much can someone look over their shoulder (literally and figuratively?) before going crazy? hahaha
I’ve not thought about it before, but Forrest does seem almost like a mythical prop that changes people’s lives. “How will the Forrest change YOU?” hahaha I like it. (but no blood and gore!)
Anxiety! Who needs more anxiety in their life? I certainly don’t, Lori. Yes, I like the Forrest Gump story because it is so different.
Thanks so much for your comment on Adventures in Writing. Have a beautiful week!