I’ve loved horror most of my life so why are most of my favorites on Goodreads fantasy? Don’t worry, they’re still dark. But why the change? I’ve sampled other genres but horror was always my favorite. Years ago I didn’t even like fantasy.
When I was doing research on the characteristic of a horror novel, I’d get a bubbling in my stomach- an excitement- an anticipation to put these tips to work. I get that same feeling now for fantasy. The horror section is still the first place I visit in the bookstore and I’d still love to read more horror books by woman and minorities but maybe I’ve just become too desensitized. I want a book to scare me but the stories I’ve read were too strange and not at all scary or even creepy- just weird.
Though horror is supposed to be all doom and gloom, I don’t want to read a story that sinks so deep into despair you feel awful after. I don’t want an ending like The Mist. Great movie gut-wrenching ending. Never watched it again. Maybe that’s why I’m sticking pretty close to fantasy. Life’s hard enough, stories are supposed to be an escape. I don’t want an ending where they all live happily ever after either, nothing’s wrong with them but, for me, they’re just too clean, too perfect. I don’t care if main characters die as long as I see a point to it. J.K. Rowling killed so many characters in HP7 but I still enjoy it. If you think about, all the characters died for a reason. She killed Dumbledore at the end of HPB but it’s still my favorite book of the series.
A writer can torture their protagonists, break them. I do it. I am a horror writer after all. I try to determine, besides death, what is the worst thing that could happen to my characters based how they live, their personality, what they care about, who they care about. I make it hard for them. Though the end may not be happy per se, the characters are at least better off than they were in the beginning.
Though you can create creatures in horror, the setting has to be familiar. It’s limiting. I’ve traveled a lot and like to use the places I’ve been to create my own. It does require a great deal more work but it also gives me the freedom to do as I please, mostly. I’m gravitating towards fantasy because of this freedom. I no longer say I’m a horror writer. I write dark fantasy which, to me, is a blending of horror and fantasy. I create my own world then apply to that world and the characters, those traits found in horror stories.
I’m still trying horror. I want to find a story that scares me without completely tearing my heart out. But I am slowly migrating to fantasy. I’ll see where this road will lead and how it’ll affect my stories or even if it’ll affect my stories because so far, it hasn’t. My reading tastes seem to be catching up to my writing style.