Saturday, 9 January 2016

Introduction to Horror Story Workshops

Fun & games at the Horror Writing Workshop
Over the years my workshops, in tandem with my live shows, have evolved and opened up to allow more space for people to engage and shape the work I am doing. This calls for a lot more mental agility on my part, but it is a far more exciting and rewarding experience for both myself and those who have come as an audience or as workshop participants. Flexibility leads to greater involvement and bigger and bolder results.

Instead of going through a standard check list of what-must-be-done-to-make-a-good-story I take the approach that it is best to slowly and deeply examine, explore and experiment with a small number of fundamental principals. For horror stories these fundamentals include: the texture of the world a story takes place in (landscape, weather, history, folklore, etc); the motivation for beginning the story’s journey (and all stories are journeys); the fatal flaw that makes a character do what they do (this is often as simple as curiosity or temptation); and an understanding of The Other that intrudes into our world, whether this be an evil being or creature from the past or another dimension or galaxy. Weave these elements together properly and you will create the sense of wonder and terror that makes a great horror story.

The best tales of terror are those that begin slowly with small and seemingly inconsequential incidents that, like the pebble that slips on a mountain side, set in motion devastating and overwhelming events. So too the best Horror Workshops begin gently. For the opening session this Thursday I am asking participants to bring along their favourite horror book or film. We will begin by each of us explaining why a particular story or film is our favourite. This will lead to a discussion on what do we mean by Horror Stories, after which we will begin looking at creating the texture of the world a story takes place in. Bring lots of paper, a pen, imagination, ideas and suggestions. 

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For details of workshops see: Writing Dark Tales - creative writing workshops.

Fans of dark tales, may want to check out my online blog novel Marcus Marcus & the Hurting Heart which was commissioned by the Múscailt Arts Festival.

For more on my work as a writer and storyteller see rabfultonstories

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