It’s that time of year when I can’t get horror movies out of my head. Even when I write, I write scary stories and slasher scenes. I’m a twisted kind of guy. As a result, I believe that much of what I learned about writing, I learned watching the best, and worst, horror flicks.
1. Running away gets you nowhere.
Most pretty girls in slasher movies knows this little gem. Your chances of survival, and therefore success, is significantly reduced the moment you decide the best way to deal with your problems is to run away from them. Same goes for writing. You HAVE TO WRITE. Most “writers” seem to ignore this point. They always ask: “How can I become a good writer?” Write, damn it!
1 (part B). Don’t hide in the attic, or basement, or closet, or car.
You’d think that everyone’s first instinct would be to NOT RUN YOURSELF INTO A CORNER. But, alas, every black guy and pretty white girl in every horror flick does the same thing. They hide themselves in the only place in the house with one exit/entrance.
Writing is no different. Don’t box yourself in. If you like Sci-fi, write some romance. Read horror, write a fantasy (though at times these genres mix). Try new things. The only way to expand your abilities is to step outside the basement and try new things.
2. Having sex will get you killed.
This one is the shitty rule. You can only survive if you’re a virgin. Granted, this rule saved my ass during many lonely nights and years.
The proof: I lived through my teenage years without much more than a scratch.
That doesn’t mean one should be forced into celibacy in order to NOT DIE. It’s like we’re fricken praying mantises. (and for the record, that’s a myth. The female praying mantis will NOT eat the male after sex. They’ve only been seen doing that while in captivity and while closely watched. But you’d acted F’d up too if someone watched you while you had sex)
As for writing. Well, if you have a life, you can’t write. If you write, you can’t have a life. Simple as that. Writing is a craft that requires time and willingness to practice…every day.
3. If you’re family is the cause of the movie, it’s safe to say you’re not going to be happy.
Scream, Halloween, just about every solid slasher has the same storyline. If you’re a member of the family/clique/group that is the reason for the movie in the first place (and half the time you don’t get to know this in advance), you’re gonna have a bad time. If you KNOW you’re family is screwed up, you’ll be dead. If you don’t, you’ll come close to death.
Writing: if you have no pain and heartache to share with the world, if you’re not WILLING to share that pain and sorrow with the world in the form of writing, then you’re dead. As a writer. If you’re telling a story just to tell a story and there is no reason for that story, no moral, no final thoughts, no growth as a human outcome, then you’re an expendable character that will likely get murdered before the halfway point.
4. Playing silly games you know are going to get you into trouble, will, well, get you into trouble.
Ever wonder why every group of pretty teens in every horror movie start with Truth or Dare that ends badly. Or they wipe out the Ouiji board and conjure Hell on earth. Or they play drinking games till someone does something they’ll regret.
Same rules apply for writing. Internet keeps us from writing because we NEED to know what’s going on with friends on Facebook. World of Warcraft will suck the life out of you in no time flat. Stop looking up memes about being a good writer and what life is like as a writer, and WRITE.