For the final in the series of the different types of genres I’ll be talking about one of my favourites (out of the many I have): horror. I’ve talked about horror before, but I want to focus on how to write one, and why we should write one.
So, first of all, what is horror? Simple, the scary and grotesque. Horror is meant to exploit your fears and put them in the real world. But horror isn’t just related to the supernatural; horror can also be found in every other genre, to some extent. For example, in a romance, the horror would be discovering that your wife is having an affair, or in a crime, the horror would be that the body found was that of your brother.
Horror is found everywhere, even in every day life. It keeps us aware, and most of all, it keeps us looking to God. Why? I’ll get to that in a minute.
So, how do we write horror, and why would we want to scare someone? Well, what does a mother do when her child disobeys? She smacks them, and I know when children get faced with the spoon, they freeze and stop what they’re doing right there!
We scare people to keep them out of sin. No, not all horror authors write to scare people from sin, but as Christians, that’s the reason we write horror stories.
Okay, how would we scare someone? When writing horror, think of what you’re afraid of, then put a face to it. If you’re afraid of monsters, create the scariest one you can think of. If people aren’t scared by your novels, it would just be like a soft smack from the spoon that only lasts a day or two because the kid realizes, “it’s not that bad.”
Horror is the genre of evangelism. People need to fear the consequences of sin, and that’s the goal I’m aiming for in my newest novel.
Alright, now to the aforementioned question. How does horror keep us aware and looking to God? Let me answer by asking you what you’re afraid of, and I mean truly afraid of. Be honest.
What’s the biggest fear in someone’s life? The unknown. The unknown is what scares us. The very question of what will tomorrow bring sends chills down your spine, doesn’t it? What if you suddenly lost your job? What if a storm wrecks your home? What if you lost everything?
Scary questions, aren’t they? Yet they could all happen.
Horror should keep you on your feet and on your face before the Lord daily. If it doesn’t do that, it fails as a Christian novel.
One of the best horror novels I have ever read is the Oath, by Frank Peretti. It captures everything that a Christian horror novel should be, and most importantly, it shows the consequences of sin, and it does so in a very frightening way.
So, to end on horror and the genre series, remember that we’re all sinners, and no one is less worthy of death than another. The real monster we should be exposing is the person standing in the mirror.