Top 8 Horror Movies for Dreaming Horror Screenwriters

There are many options to becoming a horror or science fiction writer.  When you think of the great horror screenplays that were made into films, who do you think of?

Here’s my Top 8 Horror Movies for Horror Screenwriters

1. Dawn of the Dead – 1978, Written and Directed by George A. Romero

dawn of the dead

2. Halloween – 1978, Directed by John Carpenter

halloween the movie

3. Night of the living Dead – 1968, Directed by Dean Lachiusa & George Romero

night of the living dead the movie

4. Psycho – 1960, Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

psycho the movie

5. The Shining – 1980, Directed by Stanley Kubrick

The Shinning movie

6. Nightmare on Elm Street – 1984, Directed by Wes Craven

nightmare on elm street movie

7. Friday the 13th – 1980, Directed by Sean S. Cunningham

friday the 13th the movie

8. The Exorcist – 1973, Directed by William Friedkin

the exorcist movie

I have read that you don’t need any special schooling to be a screenwriter. Film schools usually offer screenwriting classes – if we feel we need training.

Like me, if you are dreaming of becoming a horror or science fiction writer and you are just starting out, you might want to stop by the website Critters Workshop. It’s an on-line workshop/critique group for serious Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror writers — sort of an online creative writing course.

The local colleges here in Northern California offer screenwriting classes. The Santa Rosa Junior College offers a basic screenwriting class, while Sonoma State University offers classes through their Communications Studies program. They even have a local screenwriters chapter with their own Facebook page, called Northern California Screenwriters.

The Rocky Horror Show car bumper sticker decal 5" x 3" I believe the most important skill to being a great writer of any genre is to read, read, read.

Then test the waters by submitting short horror or science fiction stories to the most popular genre magazines. David Barnett, a horror screenwriter says that his writing process for horror films is a grueling process.

Do you think you could handle that process? It’s certainly something to think about when you are dreaming your big dream – do I have what it takes?

In the meantime I’ll be over here writing about blood, guts and what’s for dinner . . .

Dawnda’s dream is to be a published science fiction author she left 8 Women Dream in 2009.

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  • I love Halloween. Sorry to see you have left the group. There isn’t anything on Killer Yarns. How you stopped writing all together?

  • Allen Buchanan

    Are you writing Dawna? It would be great to see you respond in the comments here.

  • Valerie McDowell

    Thanks for adding the links. Happy Halloween.

  • Shawn

    Some of these sites are hilarious. You need to get your site listed too. Happy Halloween.

  • Catherine

    Dawna dawnda we are watching your scary stuff… come out come out wherever you are …

  • Veronica

    I watch these types of movies from under my blanket. :-)

  • Kim, the traveler

    I saw the Exorcist and that about did it for me with scary movies! I did get talked into seeing the Grudge because my husband loves horror movies. I don’t think I slept that night. A screenwriting class sounds really interesting. Go for it!

  • Alyse

    Hey Dawnda!

    How about this is the job/career I get to love while I work on my dream.

    i.e. this is the ‘dream job’ that will enable me to get to work on my dream.

    & oh, yeah, isn’t one of the best horror writers Robin Cook? Medical Horror/Thrillers. So this job will give you the baseline education in the medical field that allows you to write a thriller.

    Before I joined the Coast Guard I asked my college counselor if he thought it was a good idea, the electrical training I would be learning, he said “…you will always need to have SOMETHING you are an expert at to wirte about.

    Good news, you CAN have it all!

  • Catherine

    I am seeing this stuff everywhere now – but no nightmares. We miss you.