1. HellOnEarth
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    Horror Why do we write Horror?

    Discussion in 'By the Genre' started by HellOnEarth, Jan 15, 2007.

    I believe it is a coping mechanism. To tell yourself everything is okay.

    For me, truth is horror. Where there is truth, there is horror. No other genre is found in other genre like Horror, for it encompasses all genres, whether it is Romance, Triller, Suspense, Mystery, Sci-Fi, or Fantasy, horror can be found in every one of them.
     
  2. Rueso
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    I agree. I think it's done with a certain intrigue that not everything can be explained, that the unknown still lurks and haunts over us no matter how advanced and civilized we become.

    I think it's about the basic human element of deriving meaning as we learn, defining the purpose in our lives and, ultimately, forcing ourselves into rosey outcomes if only to reassure ourselves that it's acceptable not to know everything.
     
  3. RobYoung
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    I would agree that it is a coping mechanism. I think we need horror stories to help us deal and in some ways understand the everyday terrors of our life.

    It is a way to exorcise our own demons and slay our own devils. We are told to deal at every turn. What a great relief it is to scare and be scared in the comfort of our own homes.
     
  4. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    I write horror because I find it easier to write than almost anything else. I'll get the occasional humourous story, but most of my ideas range towards the darker aspects of things, genocide in sci-fi, gritty fantasy, etc.

    This may be a coping method, I'm not sure. I thought it was at first, but now that things are really looking up for me. Yet my creativity is still heading towards the nasty side. So it could just be my mind is naturally inclined to horror.
     
  5. elfdragonlord
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    All human beings have a dark side, like it or not.

    The question is what to do about it?

    I think the healthiest way to express your dark side is through fiction - an outlet that is in itself harmless and which might even allow you to understand yourself - your own fears and the malevolent side of yourself - ie. your dark side.

    That is why horror exists and why people like it.
     
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  6. Max Vantage
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    It's instinct - something with which brings us back to our natural state thousands of years ago when fear was our friend and something we felt every day to evade predators.

    I'm not sure if I agree that it is a coping mechanism, more to do with something to keep us alert to danger (fight or flight).

    We pay a lot of money to have the shit scared out of us. All the same with the psychology behind theme park rides - the scarier and more dangerous the better.
    What better way to know that you're alive when your close to death?
     
  7. Traci
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    I believe that I could write horror but I fear that dark side. I'm afraid that to tap into it would be like opening Pandora's box.

    What defines horror though as a genre? Blood, gore, zombies.. or does it come down to the root? Fear?
     
  8. Max Vantage
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    Very, very close. It's more about bringing the subject (i.e. the viewer/reader through the experiences of the character) down into a primal state from a recognition of a threat. Death is the highest threat possible to any mortal human.
     
  9. Fantasy of You
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    Death is the highest threat possible to any mortal human.

    Says who? Or is this another opinion stated as fact?
     
  10. Max Vantage
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    What the fuck are you banging on about? Is there anything more permanent and irreversable to a mortal other than death? What other threat could there possibly be than ultimate death?
     
  11. Avrilkiller
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    It depends on whether or nor you see death as a threat.

    I don't. I'm much, MUCH more afraid of pain than death. I'm rather excited abotu the prospect of dying. Pain, though.....There's not much I would do to avoid death, but I would do nearly anything to avoid physical pain.
     
  12. Fantasy of You
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    What the fuck are you banging on about? Is there anything more permanent and irreversable to a mortal other than death? What other threat could there possibly be than ultimate death?

    You know to little to act like you know everything, Max. If you think dying is the worst thing that can happen, then I feel sorry for you.
     
  13. elfdragonlord
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    Death may be the most irreversible thing that could happen to a human being- but that does not neccessarily make it the most terrifying prospect.

    When you die, you either cease to be or else go on to somewhere else.

    But to be trapped in a situation that you can't get out of where every waking hour is filled with misery and hardship and pain - surely that would be far worse.

    Also, permanent forms of injury are things I would fear more - losing my sight, or being horribly disfigured. Those are things you have to live with.

    Death is a pretty irreversible event - so in a way you're right - there's nothing more final that could happen to a mortal being. But where's the terror in that? People die in stories all the time. A final end to your existence can be terrifying if looked at in a certain philosophical light (and if you believe that it is the end of your consciousness).

    But at the end of the day, death (unlike going blind or getting disfigured, or suffering horribly from intolerable situations (emotional torment)) is not something that you have to live with, or if it is then it's clearly nothing but a passing from one form into another.
     
  14. Bluemouth
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    Yep. I agree with elfie.
     
  15. Max Vantage
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    Well I guess adversary is not a choice for some.

    Financial meltdown is something that people can survive. You're still alive.
    The loss of friends and/or loved ones is something you can have the ability to get over. You're still alive.
    Blindness is something that people whio are blind have learned to cope with and still have a full life. You're still alive.

    Hell, there's even a chance to survive nuclear war and still live one. You're still alive.

    Death, on the other hand, is permanent and comes to all someday. Might as well live as permanently as possible before that happens.
     
  16. Fantasy of You
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    The duration of something doesn't make it the worst outcome, Max. I feel sorry for you that you can't comprehend that. Maybe you will some day, just don't post your nonsensical ramblings until then.

    - FoY
     
  17. Max Vantage
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    Don't EVER assume the position of a moderator to dictate to me or others what we can and can't post and read in a thread again.
     
  18. Fantasy of You
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    I'm not dictating anything, Max, and I'm not assuming the position of a moderator. Another misconception, another accusation, another misinformed post.

    Don't post in every thread with your misinformed nonsense, Max. You pretend to care for the welfare of fellow members, but you're happy to do more harm than good with nonsensical crap to look smart.
     
  19. Max Vantage
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    Riiiiiiiiight:

    Oh, and:

    Yeah, I too would probably respond with "another misconception," and create a "misinformed post" if I were to be starved of oxygen whilst in the womb as well. And as a result of that asphyxiation I, too, probably wouldn't generate enough brain power to be able to think long enough beyond an accusation to another member of them being unable to comprehend anything whilst not having the balls to give my own definition of what could possibly be worse than death for fear of someone else smarter proving me wrong.
    So I guess I would have no more choice than to simply state that a certain member hasn't the abililty to comprehend from another person's point of view (despite that person not actually showing one) and then having nothing else other than to stamp my feet like a juvenile and tell everyone not to read the responses of a certain member as if I own the place (whilst denying that in the process).

    Your inability to read and understand is utterly disgraceful for someone who professes to call itself a writer.
     
  20. Crazy Ivan
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    Hehehe.
    It's funny because he's being dumb and overreactive.

    But then again, everyone else: They're called opinions. Learn to respect them. Max may be incredibly, piss-his-pants scared of death. That's fine for him. I, personally, don't really care about death, thinking there are a bunch of things worse than it. Death is easy. It's the living bit that's hard.
    But I'm not going to take my opinion and smash your head open with it, so everyone please stop fighting, and try to return to the subject this topic was made for: Why do we write horror?
    Personally, I think it's what Max said somewhere: There is nothing greater to remind you that you are alive than coming close to death. Horror stimulates our sense of alive-ness, of being in this world, kind of our sense of gratefulness for how easy we have it.
     
  21. Max Vantage
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    lmfao :D Yeah, it's buhcos ah cahnt compre...compro...compri..
    Oh bugger! I'll get back to you on that one.

    What, in your opinion then, do you think is the greatest sacrifice a mortal person can make to warrant it being much worse than death?
     
  22. Crazy Ivan
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    Prob'ly one o' them comas where you can see everything going on around you but can't do anything about it or tell anyone about it, and your body hurts like it's been tied to a big pick-up truck, injected with gallons of oil, and then pushed over a cliff into the piranha-infested Amazon river but you can't do anything to stop it.
     
  23. Max Vantage
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    Ah, good one. I'm reminded of that war film but the name escapes me. I think it was Johnny Got His Gun which Metallica made a song about (One) about a guy completely paralysed with no limbs, no way of being able to communicate with the outside world, etc, etc, etc.

    But, ahhh, comas do happen no matter how horrific and so do coming out of them...even if eventually.

    So staying with that, what about actually losing all of your limbs?
    Has medical science not made progression towards artificial limbs to help a person regain their mobility and independence to live as close to a natural life as possible? Who knows what stem-cell research can come up with in the future to make artificial limbs a thing of the past. And also not forgetting the ability to reconstruct, well, pretty much EVERYTHING back to as normal as possible.

    I was thinking that maybe immortality is worse than death. I doubt that anyone would say no to it, but the boredom, y'see, lol doesn't bear thinking about. But the thing about being immortal is that if you were you wouldn't know any different to merit immortality being akin to living in hell.

    So maybe AIDs, seeing as it is terminal and having no cure? A slow death for sure moving towards an ultimate death.
    But how do we know that there won't be a cure for it tomorrow or any other as-yet terminal condition for that matter?
    I may have lost faith in terms of religion, but I haven't with humanity's strive towards longevity from things that could have a cure someday until that ultimate final day arrives.

    Then I thought about a parent's loss of their child/children.
    For sure this has to be a winner?

    But then I'm reminded of a past acquaintance who went through such a time in her life. Her whole world came crashing down and her life really wasn't worth living until she found it within her to build the strength to carry on with her life and become a mother again.
    Not all people can do that. But even if it is just the one person throughout the whole of humanity who can bring that strength to carry on then so can other people, hence life still being a necessity.


    I can't agree that it is about opinion. I think it's more about perception.
    I definitely am shit-scared of death seeing as there is no bargaining with it. Everything in life deemed adversary sooner or later we are able to find a way to cope or bargain. But death knows of no such thing.
    I'm not talking about people who cross over only to come back. I'm talking the actual irreversible big goodbye.

    Basically, what I'm getting at is no matter what affliction may befall someone no matter how horrific, there is ALWAYS a way of being able to cope with it...sooner or later.
    Some can't, but the ones who do prove to me everyone has the ability to do so.

    I think the Grim Reaper still wins this one hands down. You simply can't bargain with the guy.

    I once read on a writer who was asked to define his way of writing drama. He said that he always asked himself, "What is the worst thing, other than death, that could happen to my character, right here, right now, that is logical to the events and outcomes of the story?"
    He said he always worked backwards from the worst thing (being death) to what he could see as the next worst thing.

    Ever since that moment it haunted me because there really is nothing more permanent other than the loss of life, especially in terms of what is at stake according to the actions of a character. If the worst thing other than death that could happen to a lawyer (for example) is getting fired, then, due to the writer's choice of the needs of his story plot, they can and do offset choices for plot points for the lawyer character to continue in some way. In fiction, death is no barrier when you get into the realms of supernatural fantasy etc.

    But in reality that we know of today with no evidence as yet of an afterlife, reincarnation, or heaven, it's logical to perceive that the worst thing, above all, is death.
     
  24. AeroDillo
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    Why?

    Why, to mix the real, surreal, and impossible. Why else?
     
  25. Paperboy
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    to me horror is reality, thats why i write it. Its my reality that the world is not perfect, there's not going to a be a picture perfect ending to everything and life is not just some dream world. So i see that in horror, everything wants to think its ok but all these terrible things happen. And thats what happens with me, i think things are going to go perfect then i have this big problem to deal with, and when i run from them they find me.
     

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