The Kind of Creature You’re Conveying in Your Writing



I was recently writing an intro for a client when I stumbled onto a fascinating list of horror story classifications.


For the record, I’m not saying the site I found – MegaEssays.com – is the most reliable one ever. But this specific offering seemed well thought out about a subjective enough topic that I think it’s safe to cite.


According to the article, “There are three basic types of horror [films]: the supernatural, the scientific, and the naturalistic.” They’re each self-explanatory, but let’s break them down all the same in honor of Halloween.



1. Supernatural: Horror tales that involve critters most respectable scientists would scoff at. Some examples would be vampires (the non-sparkly kind), werewolves, evil faeries, evil leprechauns, ghosts, ghouls and demons.

2. Scientific: Scary stories centered around science fiction, thereby based on at least somewhat plausible premises that then go very, very bad. For instance, aliens, experiments gone wrong, nature run amuck and the like.

3. Naturalistic: Ripped-from-the-headlines dramatizations of real people doing very bad things to their fellow humans. By this, we mean psychos, serial killers, axe murderers, sociopaths and other such disturbed individuals.


It’s that last category we’re going to talk about today – and how there might be one lurking very close by.

No offense, but you’ve got it in you to inspire or be inspired by a naturalistic horror film. So do I.


We humans do in general. We’re all capable of thinking horrible things, and most of us are physically capable of doing horrible things too.


The majority of us don’t actually become psychos, serial killers, axe murderers and sociopaths… but that doesn’t mean we’re not disturbed individuals all the same. Think about it for a moment.


Really think about it.


How often do you talk trash about people behind their backs… or leave demeaning responses on news stories… or write catty articles and blog posts of your own about people?


Moreover, how often do you feel good about it? Maybe even a bit (or a lot) righteous?


Hate to break it to you, but if you’re doing that without a constructive attitude and purpose, you might very well be a monster.

I don’t mean to turn this into a Kumbaya moment. Lord knows there’s plenty to disagree about right now.


I’d even go so far as to say that disagreeing can be healthy: a sign that our individual brains are working as they should be: individually.


It’s a good thing when we’re not acting like a bunch of busy bees in a hive. That’s great for them, not so much for us.


It’s also a good thing to express our disagreements. So if you’ve got a political blog, go ahead and say how strenuously you disagree with the other side of the aisle. Build your case for impeaching Trump or why Democrats should return to reality and stop being such sore losers already.


And if you write health-related articles, don’t be shy about taking a stance on coconut oil or the impossible burger. (Whatever those stances may be. Not being a health-related writer, I wouldn’t know.)


Just try to do so because you actually care to make the world a better place for everyone. Including those who disagree with you.


It’s either that or willingly encourage yourself to be a naturalistic villain. Probably not one who’s going to go about slaughtering people, admittedly.


But a creature who’s happy to slash others apart just to make itself feel better all the same.


On that hopefully creepy note, Happy Halloween.

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