Horror, mystery, and suspense: three sister genres with disreputable reputations and dedicated readerships. But far from being niche, these genres in fact make up the very backbone of all fiction writing. Within them lie the blueprints for understanding and mastering character, plot, the building and releasing of tension, and the unsettling recesses of the human psyche. “No one need wonder at the existence of a literature of [fear],” H.P. Lovecraft wrote in 1938. “It has always existed, and always will exist; and no better evidence of its tenacious vigor can be cited than the impulse which now and then drives writers of totally opposite leanings to try their hands at it...as if to discharge from their minds certain phantasmal shapes which would otherwise haunt them.” Whether you’re a horror enthusiast, a scaredy-cat, a curious novice, or simply interested in discharging from your mind certain phantasmal shapes which would otherwise haunt you, I invite you to come and confront the darkness. Participants in this course will read a wide range of published work in the field, and eventually craft their own canny, uncanny, and original contributions to the genres of slow-ratcheted, nigh-unbearable tension and white-knuckle, heart-pounding terror.
This course will incorporate a mix of synchronous and asynchronous components.