Unfortunately, I usually can only make it halfway through a story before I decide it's garbage and scrap it. So I've been reading some books about writing.
Edo van Belkom's book, Writing Horror, has an advantage over the other books I've read because it is specifically about the horror genre.
Within the 216 pages, the following topics are covered:
- A definition of horror and its sub-genres
- The elements of a story (plot, characters, setting, dialogue, etc.)
- How horror works
- Manuscript format and how to send it
- The horror fiction marketplace
- Contracts and agents
Writing Horror was helpful to me, as a beginner, but I'm unsure whether it would be beneficial to others who are more experienced. It covers the basics and not much else. And hopefully anyone who is interested in writing horror will already know the horror sub-genres and have read most of the authors listed. The book can also be repetitive at times (especially about being persistent), but it works to drill it into your head. But I found the exercises to be useful, and learned about things I never knew much about before, such as SASEs and manuscript format.
If you are interested in reading more books about writing horror, Stephen King's novel, On Writing is helpful. There are also a few other books on writing horror specifically: On Writing Horror: A Handbook by the Horror Writers Association and Writers Workshop of Horror.