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
2. Halloween – 1978, Directed by John Carpenter
3. Night of the living Dead – 1968, Directed by Dean Lachiusa & George Romero
4. Psycho – 1960, Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
5. The Shining – 1980, Directed by Stanley Kubrick
6. Nightmare on Elm Street – 1984, Directed by Wes Craven
7. Friday the 13th – 1980, Directed by Sean S. Cunningham
8. The Exorcist – 1973, Directed by William Friedkin
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.
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.