Horror Fandom: Giving Back Some Scares

Have you ever wanted to create your own horror masterpiece? Have you ever wanted to give something back to the genre that you love and join in the fun? Brilliant. We’re honoured to have you as fellow fans. Seriously, it’s a brave step for any fan to take. There comes a time in many horror fans’ lives in terror when a certain thought occurs; “Now it’s MY turn.” This is how countless much-loved creators got their start. The simple desire to be a part of something that had given them so much pleasure and fascination. The early seeds are sewn when creators are exposed to something that changes their perspectives, changes the way they think, and opens their mind to the possibilities of what can be done with the macabre.

For me it was reading Stephen King’s incredible IT as a twelve year old. Yeah, it wasn’t really the most suitable reading material for a kid of that age to be consuming (not by a long way), but I was ahead of the other kids at school and wanted something that would blow my mind. That unforgettable cover of the IT paperback, with the sinister eyes peering out off the sewers and that striking red logo caught my eye and I wanted to know what the heck it was all about. That was where my fascination with horror began, and as I grew older I was able to start seeing the movies that the horror stars always talked about, and took in the books that everyone mentioned.

With exposure to writers like Clive Barker, James Herbert, Shaun Hutson and many others as well as Mr. King, and all of the movies I could possibly find (when I could afford to do so), my love of horror deepened and began to be more refined. I moved on from the Elm Street movies and Friday the 13th to Argento and Fulci, and so on. I am sure it was the same sort of thing for you, and so many like us. Many fans decide to turn their hand to creating their own horrors, and while not all of them make it out and find an audience, it has to be respected that fans try to do their own thing. What about you?

Think of what You would like to see or read. Think about the things that are missing from the genre at the moment, or things you would like to have a go at doing yourself. Think about the things that scare you and how you can put those into a fictional context (be they physical horrors, psychological, supernatural or whatever). You see, if they freak you out, there’s every chance they could freak other people out. Think beyond vampires and werewolves and zombies. Think beyond slashers and screaming maidens. Think beyond the norm, and you may just create the next horror classic.

This is what I’ve been trying to do for a while now, and with my new novella, DEAD THING (and its forthcoming sequels), I think I’ve got something worthwhile that helps me say thanks to the genre that I love. I wanted a contemporary story with a supernatural element and lots of gore in a setting that is familiar to me. Coming up with your own attempt at an entry into the hallowed halls of horror is a scary thing to do in itself, but if you have the dedication and the belief in your story and your abilities, then you can make just as much magic happen as Stephen King, Tom Savini, Wes Craven or whoever provided you with your favourite scares. Horror is unique amongst the popular genres in that it is the one that has the most scope for an indie, low budget project.

You don’t need millions to make a good horror film. Writing good horror fiction is a different discipline, but it is just as possible to do great things without a publishing deal or a huge promotional budget. Just get your ideas down on paper or on a screen, refine them, refine them some more, refine them again and get them out there for the world to see.

More than just trying to get your name about and make some cash, think about what you can give back to the industry and genre that has given and continues to give you so much entertainment. Come on guys, what horrors lay hidden inside you? What can you unleash upon the horror fans of the world? Get to it.

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About Andrew Hawnt

As well as Horrornews.net, Andrew writes for the UK's POWERPLAY ROCK AND METAL MAGAZINE and film geek site WEEKLY GEEK SPEAK. He is the author of books such as VHS ATE MY BRAIN, BAGGED AND BOARDED: LIFE ON PLANET GEEK, the novel A STOLEN FATE and several others. Andrew lives in Nottingham, UK. You can find him on Twitter as @andrewhawnt

2 Responses to Horror Fandom: Giving Back Some Scares

  1. B. D. Prince says:

    I’m writing as fast as I can! Just submitted my first two short stories, working on a screenplay for Screamfest LA. Wish me luck!

    • Andrew Hawnt says:

      Hell yes! That’s great to hear! Go for it- and good luck! That’s what I like to hear. Gotta admire anyone that puts in the effort. I hope it works out for you!

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