Whatever your area of preference: short stories, novels, film and/or TV, there is an ever hungry need for thrillers and dramas using supernatural themes and settings. In short, horror fiction. All you have to do is to understand the conventions associated with this most prestigious of genres. Now, don't go thinking in cliches. Horror is not just Stephen King and Slasher movies! Horror and Dark Fantasy fiction also encompasses the likes of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, the Matrix series, and TV shows like Buffy, Charmed, Fringe, Bates Motel and The Walking Dead. Of course there are the classics to aspire to: Edgar Allen Poe, Lovecraft, MR James, and more modern writers like Peter Straub, Clive Barker, Graham Masterton, James Herbert. Stephen King describes Thomas Harris (Silence of the Lambs), James Patterson and Patricia Cornwell as closet horror writers too! All of the above writers know - and have profited - from the notion that scaring the pants off your reader not only makes you successful, it keeps readers coming back for more! Good horror is sophisticated. More and more writers, like Joe Hill and Jack Ketchum, are winding up in the literary section of your local bookshop or library. No longer is horror marginalized. It's increasingly seen as respectable and justifiably good writing. So, believe me, it's more than possible to make a very good living from writing horror and dark fantasy! Do you want success as a horror writer? And get to grips with a genre that will benefit all of your writing. Here’s what the book covers: * How to build suspense * How to create believable characters * How to come up with original and compelling ideas * How to create convincing monsters and psychological enemies * How to sustain a series of stories / books / movies * And much more! Part One: A thorough analysis of the horror genre from its origins to its place in the modern world. We will examine the various forms of storytelling in the past and in the present, identifying the roots of the genre and how certain functional characteristics have been carried over into the modern diversity of horror / suspense / mystery / thriller and crime genres. Part Two: Creating our own stories. We establish the parameters and the requirements of character, the horror conventions and ways to stretch the envelope. The emphasis is on creating strong durable protagonists with believable agendas at credible odds with the antagonist / monster / psychological threat. Part Three: The importance of setting, environment and the psychological landscape. We discuss the various ways in which authors use setting as 'the third character' - and how to create our own living, breathing locations. We also examine mood, tone and factors like theme, purpose and the overall feel of your supernatural stories in this context. Part Four: Plotting. How to take a rough story idea from inspiration to a full blown template for a novel. The importance of planning and organization. How to easily construct plots using the various forms of writing software available and other tried and true methods - card file systems, cut and paste etc. We also study pace, building suspense, tension and examine the fear factor. Part Five: The writing. How to sustain motivation and enthusiasm for your writing project and ensure it is written until it's finished. Procrastination, time and self-doubt are the writer's natural enemies. We deal with these issues head on - and head them off! We study time management and self-support systems in detail to help us get past any slumps, writers blocks or personal health issues. This lesson will help turn you into a writing machine! Part Six: What to do with your novel / short story / screenplay after the writing. I'll show you how to construct a career path and a strategy for success.