Writer Wednesday: Writing About Making Monsters

Two weeks back I kicked off a horror-themed Writer Wednesday series, before promptly falling ill. I attribute my skipped week of posts to swooning, blood loss, and the rabidity incurred from a few of the following ailments: a vampire bite, a werewolf bite, having my corpse stitched back together, and rising from the grave without my body in tact. Wispy and intangible, and a little disgruntled about being disturbed from my unrest, I sat down to write this post.

Take a wild guess what this week’s theme is about:

(Hamsters. Totally.)

Monsters. Making them. Breaking them. Setting up the big reveal. Prolonging the suspense. Making them scary… And how monster archetypes work in contemporary fiction. I’ve got a selection of posts dealing with archetypal origins ranging from Bram Stoker to Mary Shelley, with some really basic stuff towards the end that deal with the application of the archetypes to contemporary characters.

Yep. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and Frankenstein’s monster.

Writing About Making Monsters

Writing About Monsters by Matt Moore

A discussion on the differences between monsters and villains, and what drives them as characters as they are not always one and the same thing. Some of this I don’t agree with (in particular the invocation bit: I suspect that the Cloverfield monster was only suffering separation anxiety from it’s mother. No one invited it to destroy New York…) Read it >

It’s Alive! Writing Monsters by A.J. Hartley

How a monster may be defined by its qualities and shaped accordingly. A brief discussion on where their power originates with examples from popular culture and the writer’s own works. Read it >

Infographic: Monsters in Literature from Electric Literature

A collection of literary monsters displayed as an infographic, because you can’t write something great without understanding the legacy from which the thing has emerged. Well, you can, but then your vampires end up sparkling in sunlight. Real scary. Read it >

Monster Archetypes by Bill Penny

A nice, concise primer in slideshow format that offers the basics for monster archetypes in literature and popular culture, and where the lines blur a bit. Uses some good examples that make you think a bit. (Hannibal Lecter fits the “vampire” archetype, for example, even though he’s not a blood-sucker himself.) Read it >

The Elements of Good Scarytelling: Monstrous Archetypes by Shannon Appelcline

The bigger discussion on archetypes and personifying monstrous qualities in individuals, with references and related links to horror culture. Nice little article — and one of my favourites too. A great primer when wrapping your head around what makes a monster, and where you can find some flexibility while working with the archetypes. Read it >


Bella Lugosi's Dracula


Got something else worth a notable mention? Leave a note with a link in the comments. 😉

Until next time, guys & ghouls!

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