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Women in Horror Month

 

Full moom behind clouds by Richard EdwardsFebruary is Women in Horror Month. You’d think celebrating women writers wouldn’t be controversial, but it is in some circles. For one thing – the thing I’m going to examine today – some folks will tell you flat-out that women can’t write horror.

What? Women can’t write horror? Who says so? A surprising number of people will tell you they don’t read horror written by women. They’ll say that women don’t write to the extremes men do. That women don’t write the graphic horror. Women are too emotional, too interested in relationships, not interested enough in gore and guts.

I’m willing to say many (not all) women write differently than most men. Different does not mean lesser. A writer writes from his or her soul or inner self or deepest, darkest, secret places. Phrase that however you wish. Who you are will affect your writing.

So does that make woman-written horror inferior to man-written horror? Not from where I stand. Horror doesn’t have to be all blood, dangling entrails, and ripped out organs. Some of the best horror is purely psychological.

To be honest, if all a book (or film for that matter) has in its bag of tricks to frighten me is popped-out eyeballs dangling onto cheekbones or gouts of spurting arterial blood, I’m not going to be scared. I’m going to be bored. Bored. Write vivid, interesting characters—someone I can root for as well as someone I can hate. Write with emotion, with depth, with intelligence. Twist my mind into a pretzel, and I’ll follow you anywhere.

 

 

Photo credit: Richard Edwards Free Pictures A-Z

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