Synopsis This book is a collection of essays based on the author’s vast knowledge and appreciation for worldbuilding in fantasy. Also contained with are sources for worldbuilding prompts and diagrams to make this not only a useful guide to any writer, but also to foster an appreciation in the reader for the sheer colossal task […]
Philip starts by leveling the field and properly defining what a good monster is; what makes them scary, where they come from and how to define them as a monster or a villain (or both). Then he continues by encouraging us to describe their attributes, digging deep into creating three-dimensional creatures with skill descriptions that resemble a Dungeon & Dragons scoring system. I really enjoyed printing the monster creation form and going through each question to develop (or re-develop) the main villain of my story. He proceeds with an amazing section on how to write them properly on the page using the appropriate reveal, leveraging your five senses and some tricks to make them scarier and less cliché (ex.: don’t use vampires, werewolves or write them in a whole new perspective).
As a starting writer working on a monster-horror novel, I’m always looking for books teaching how to improve my craft. And Tim Waggoner’s Writing in the dark didn’t disappoint. In fact, it was the first one I read focused on the Horror genre. When I started reading, I had just finished the first draft of my novel “From the mist”. I feel confident the 2nd draft will be that much better from the tips and tricks I learned from Tim.