Merry Meet All,
Today I am going to talk about the books I have found to be the most beneficial in writing on the subject of the paranormal. I love the paranormal. It is fascinating to me. Hopefully it holds the same amount of fascination for many others.
Here is a list of books to read to get a good background on the subject. Novels, especially the classics, are great to read to study how to write about the paranormal. Dracula by Bram Stoker should lurk on everyone’s bookcase who want to write a horror novel. It is a classic. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the works of Edgar Allan Poe, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and The Best Ghost Stories by Stephen Hrennan. Some other books to read (that I don’t own, but have read) are Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin and Amityville Horror. Pay attention to the writers’ craft and develop your own original voice. Read widely in the genre you have chosen to write in. Chilling Tales anthology by Michael Kelly and Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. Watch the movie of Something Wicked This Way Comes. You will be awake all night.
Once you have read those books, you may have ideas spinning around in your head and want to try to write a short story or a novel. I recommend also buying the books and not borrowing them. I do this because if I want to read or refer to a chapter or a page, I simply pluck the book from my stuffed bookcase and it’s there. I do not need to travel to a bookstore or library in the rain or snow and waste two hours. I like to support small bookstores. Go ahead and get some cool bookends. Dragons, unicorns, whatever strikes your fancy.
Get a good dictionary and thesaurus. Learn your grammar. (I need to.) Don’t be afraid to set a story in a region you are fond of. That can make your story original! You want to be original.
A list of useful books:
The First 50 pages by Jeff Gerke
Writing the Paranormal Novel by Steven Harper
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Dave King
On Writing Horror by the Horror Writers Association
OXford Canadian A-Z of Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation
Formatting and Submitting your Manuscript by Chuck Sambuchino
That may seem like a lot to read, but it is important to get the basics down. I hope this inspires you to pen your own great story. You may be the next Charlotte Bronte or Percy Bysshe Shelley. Good luck!