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Writing in the Dark: The Workbook Writing in the Dark: The Workbook

Like Tim Waggoner's Bram Stoker Award-winning Writing in the Dark, a manual for how to write horror fiction, this workbook covers a wide variety of topics, ranging from monster, idea, and plotline creation to avoiding clichés and developing the art of suspense. The workbook, however, foregrounds practice over discussion to help writers master these concepts. Both texts stand on their own while working together to provide you with the direction and tools you need to maximize your own authorship.

The wealth of examples, exercises, and tutorials in Writing in the Dark: The Workbook are designed to inspire and stretch the imagination. Waggoner draws from his own experiences in addition to other professional writers, among them Laird Barron, Maurice Broaddus, Nadia Bulkin, Ramsey Campbell, Mort Castle, Tananarive Due, Christopher Golden, Grady Hendrix, Daniel Kraus, Joe R. Lansdale, Elizabeth Massie, Graham Masterton, Seanan McGuire, John Shirley, and many others.

Featuring an introduction by Michael A. Arnzen, Writing in the Dark: The Workbook will resonate with young authors who are just getting started on their careers as well as veterans of the horror genre and craft.

Praise for Writing in the Dark:

“I had a chance to read through Tim Waggoner’s Writing in the Dark this week, and it is excellent! Comprehensive, accessible, no-frills, and packed with the advice that writers like Tim and myself wish we had been given when we started.” —Brian Keene

“One of the best non-fiction texts on the art and business of writing horror-suspense since King's On Writing.” —Lee Murray, multi-award-winning writer and editor

“I felt more as if I were sitting in a dive bar, discussing secrets of the universe with my feet up. He can take the toughest topic — from theme to voice to motivation and conflict—and talk someone through it as if reviewing his favorite new movie. —Dave Simms, Cemetery Dance

“Tim Waggoner’s Writing in the Dark is an instant classic in the small canon of ‘how to books’ specifically directed at that special breed of authors known as horror writers . . .” —Michael A. Arnzen

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Writing in the Dark

  Writing in the Dark

In this comprehensive textbook devoted to the craft of writing horror fiction, award-winning author Tim Waggoner draws on thirty years' experience as a writer and teacher. Writing in the Dark offers advice, guidance, and insights on how to compose horror stories and novels that are original, frightening, entertaining, and well-written.

Waggoner covers a wide range of topics, among them why horror matters, building viable monsters, generating ideas and plotlines, how to stylize narratives in compelling ways, the physiology of fear, the art of suspense, avoiding clichés, marketing your horror writing, and much more. Each chapter includes tips from some of the best horror professionals working today, such as Joe Hill, Ellen Datlow, Joe R. Lansdale, Maurice Broaddus, Yvette Tan, Thomas Ligotti, Jonathan Maberry, Edward Lee, and John Shirley. There are also appendices with critical reflections, pointers on the writing process, ideas for characters and story arcs, and material for further research.

Writing in the Dark derives from Waggoner's longtime blog of the same name. Suitable for classroom use, intensive study, and bedside reading, this essential manual will appeal to new authors at the beginning of their career as well as veterans of the horror genre who want to brush up on their technique.


"I was part of one of Tim's writing workshops more years ago than I care to acknowledge. Soon after completing it, I began to sell professionally. Coincidence? I think not!" —Dave Creek, author of 40 science fiction and mystery short stories and 14 books

"I still refer to handwritten notes I scribbled down as fast as I could during one of Tim's horror-writing classes. Absolutely incisive insights and practical know-how." —Tom Leveen, Bram Stoker finalist and author of Hellworld
"As soon as I heard Waggoner was creating a book on writing craft, I knew I was buying it. His insights are gold." —Jay Wilburn, author of the Maidens of Zombie Kingdom trilogy

"For some years now, Tim Waggoner's Writing in the Dark has been my go-to blog for sensible, actionable, sustainable tips for writers. Scarily good advice." —Lee Murray, author of The Path of Ra series

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Paperback & Hardcover

Planet Havoc

Zombicide Invader: Planet Havoc

Scoundrels and soldiers band together to survive the onslaught of alien-zombies spreading across the galaxy in this riotous adventure. A deserted R&D facility tempts the hungry new Guild, Leviathan, into sending a team to plunder its valuable research. The base was abandoned after a neighboring planet was devastated by an outbreak of Xenos – alien zombies – but that was a whole planet away... When the Guild ship is attacked by a quarantine patrol, both ships crash onto the deserted world. Only it isn’t as deserted as they hope: a murderous new Xeno threat awakens, desperate to escape the planet. Can the crews cooperate to destroy this new foe? Or will they be forced to sacrifice their ships and lives to protect the galaxy?

Planet Havoc is the best of all worlds –space adventure, military SF, snarky humor, and zombies! Tim Waggoner brings the pain and all the jolts in this rollicking action horror thriller!” — Jonathan Maberry, NY Times bestselling author of the Joe Ledger thrillers and Kagen the Damned

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Halloween Kills

Halloween Kills

The official novelization of the highly anticipated sequel to 2018’s Halloween, starring Jamie Lee Curtis.

Minutes after Laurie Strode, her daughter Karen, and granddaughter Allyson left masked monster Michael Myers caged and burning in Laurie’s basement, Laurie is rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, believing she finally killed her lifelong tormentor.

But when Michael manages to free himself from Laurie’s trap, his ritual bloodbath resumes. As Laurie fights her pain and prepares to defend herself against him, she inspires all of Haddonfield to rise up against their unstoppable monster. But as a group of other survivors of Michael’s first rampage decide to take matters into their own hands, a vigilante mob forms that sets out to hunt Michael down. Evil dies tonight.

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Your Turn to Suffer

  Your Turn to Suffer

Lorelei Palumbo is harassed by a sinister group calling themselves The Cabal. They accuse her of having committed unspeakable crimes in the past, and now she must pay. The Cabal begins taking her life apart one piece at a time – her job, her health, the people she loves – and she must try to figure out what The Cabal thinks she’s done if she’s to have any hope of answering their charges and salvaging her life.

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Flame Tree Website
       This is Tim's page on the Flame Tree site, where you can order any of his Flame Tree novels, including Your Turn to Suffer.


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