Master the Elements for Constructing a Better Horror Story
Your Instructor: Paul Tremblay, Sarah Langan, John Langan, F. Brett Cox
Where: Online — Available everywhere!
When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here
Enrollment: 15 Students Maximum
This class begins with the assumption that there’s more to horror fiction than brute affect (i.e. shock or revulsion). In fact, it’s based in the view that horror is as capable of art as any other kind of fiction, which is to say, of addressing a wide-range of concerns to a wide range of results. Over the space of four weeks, a quartet of today’s leading new writers of horror will take you through the elements that go into constructing a better horror story.
Central to the class is the idea that a good horror story needs good characters, vividly-drawn individuals in whose fates the reader can invest herself. Building on that foundation, the class will consider the particular narrative conventions available to the horror writer, the uses to which examples drawn from the horror tradition may be put, the potential for and benefits of narrative experimentation, and drawing on the resources of place and history. By the end of it, you’ll have a better appreciation of the tremendous possibilities horror fiction continues to offer the ambitious writer.
What This Class Covers
Week 1 - Assembling the Monster:
What Tools Will You Need for Your Horror Story? (Sarah Langan)
Week 2 - Prowling the Cemetery:
The Importance and Uses of Tradition (John Langan)
Week 3 - Chimeras:
Experimenting with Narrative Conventions (Paul Tremblay)
Week 4 - There’s No Place Like Home:
Sense of Place and History in Your Horror Story (F. Brett Cox)
Goals Of This Class
- Write vivid characters who engage the reader
- Create dynamic narratives that engage the conventions and history of horror fiction in order to chart new directions in the field
- Experiment with narrative form in order to learn the benefits of doing so
- Draw on your particular place and its history in order to add depth and resonance to your fiction
- Complete one or more short stories/novel chapters written to a professional standard
This class is jointly taught by leading authors who currently are members of the Shirley Jackson Awards board of trustees: F. Brett Cox, John Langan, Sarah Langan, and Paul Tremblay. The authors are donating their proceeds to benefit the Shirley Jackson Awards.
LitReactor offers a unique approach to a writing education: You study what you want, when you want, at your own pace. We bring in veteran authors and industry professionals to host classes covering a wide range of topics in an online environment that’s interactive and flexible. You get detailed feedback on your work and take part in discussions in a judgement-free zone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an experienced writer, our workshops are about working together to achieve your writing goals.
Where do classes take place?
Entirely online. So, anywhere you have Internet access.
Are there certain times when the whole class needs to "meet" online?
Nope. Our students come from all over the globe. Everything is posted online and accessible 24/7. (We do occasionally schedule phone chats, but try to reach a consensus on timing.)
What does a typical class consist of?
It varies, but nearly all our classes include weekly lectures, homework assignments, peer reviews, critiques from instructors, and discussion forums.
How much experience do you need to take a class?
Beginner or pro, everyone is welcome. We encourage all skill levels.
Got more questions? Click here for an extended FAQ.
And click here to explore a sample class that shows our layout and features.