Mystery & Horror Writing, Weeks Six & Seven

My blog posts are a bit behind because of last week’s snow; today we’re doing three workshops and all of the readings from “Haunted Houses” and “Myth and Legend.” We’ll be discussing last week’s assignments:

  • Bennett Sims’ “House-Sitting” (from Tin House)
  • Adam L.G. Nevill’s “Where Angels Come In” (from Hauntings, ed. Ellen Datlow)
  • Julio Cortázar’s “House Taken Over” (from Bestiario)
  • An excerpt from H.P. Lovecraft’s essay “Supernatural Horror in Literature”

As well as this week’s stories:

  • Neil Gaiman’s “Snow, Glass, Apples” (from The Secret History of Fantasy, ed. Peter S. Beagle)
  • Sabina Murray’s “The Sisters” (from xoOrpheus, ed. Kate Bernheimer)

I will also be giving a brief lecture on structure and endings, in addition to our talk about what makes a good haunted house story. We will also discuss adapting fairy tales and myths, and doing an activity where we rework some urban legends from Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories series. We will also be doing “character interviews” with each other, exploring the unwritten aspects of our protagonist’s personalities.

Next week, the theme is “The Criminal.” We will be reading:

  • Agatha Christie’s “Witness for the Prosecution”
  • Patricia Highsmith’s “The Heroine” (from Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives, ed. Sarah Weinman)
  • Nedra Tyre’s “A Nice Place to Stay” (from Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives, ed. Sarah Weinman)

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