, 13 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
Hi, newish writers who love horror and are trying to figure out how to write great horror. I have a rec for you this morning. #Chernobyl is one of the greatest, most terrifying horror stories I’ve ever seen. The reason why is simple so I thought I’d share in case it helps!
A good portion of you will know this already but I’m sharing as someone who got hired on a horror show and then had to have this explained to me. I figure I can’t be the only one out there. :)
Obviously the miniseries is great for a large number of reasons to do with people’s talent. The actors, director, DP, PD, and MAN the writing in those monologues about truth. Also that shit really happened. Recently.
So when you’re writing horror more fiction-y, and you’re thinking, “How do I fuck people up super hard like that thing did,” here’s your rule of thumb: the more universal, the more effective.
That means— in the words of @therealkripke who first broke this down specifically for me after I pitched him something that would be super super terrifying if it happened to you— but only would happen to you if you had a very specific job in a specific tax bracket —
@therealKripke “If you make a thing about a haunted Mercedes, only Mercedes owners will he scared. If you make a thing about how any car can get haunted, well, that’s all of us.” Simple, right? The more it could touch anyone, the better.
@therealKripke (Yes it’s also fun to imagine the worst thing that could happen IF you were a ballerina or a professional cellist. And those can be great too. But this is your shortcut to something that hits the max number of folks where they truly live.)
@therealKripke #Chernobyl checks every fucking box. You can’t protect yourself from invisible radiation. You can’t avoid air or water. You can’t avoid human error. You can’t avoid government corruption. No one can.
@therealKripke (I just realized I’m now tagging Eric in this entire thread. Hi, Eric! Can’t wait to see your new show #TheBoys. Thanks for the horror education.)
@therealKripke Anyhoodle I just binged the miniseries this weekend and can’t remember the last time I felt such existential dread. (Though the cliff-falling sea mammals on that Planet Earth doc is a decent second.) Or had more clarity of inspiration!
@therealKripke It reminded me that one of the most powerful questions you can ask is “how do I make the details and rules of this horror more specific while making the potential reach of this horror wider and less specific.”
@therealKripke So, if you’re reading this because you wanna learn about horror, run don’t walk. (But also know you can’t unsee that shit and will want to order iodine tablets from amazon.) (But also that’s proof that the storytelling was successful.) Have “fun”!
@therealKripke (Side note for ardent #Supernatural fans: no, this doesn’t mean Eric rejected a literal Mercedes story! That I recall, anyway. This was his metaphorical example to prove a greater point. ;) )
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