What Hasn’t Been Done
In the horror genre, everything that could be done has been done. Bram Stoker brought vampires from the darkness to the light. Anne Rice gave it a new twist. Now, some magazines/e-zines won’t even consider vampire fiction. It brings a real challenge to horror writers like myself to find the next new twist. In order to do this, one must avoid the old cliches.
Willie Meikle wrote an article titled “Horror Fiction – Ten Cliches to Avoid” available at Fiction Factor. As the title states, he runs through ten common cliche scenerios in the horror genre as well as give possible alternatives. Sometimes the slightest diversion from an old idea can make all the difference. Examining my own writing, I don’t believe I’ve fallen in to the cliche trap yet (that I know of). I wrote a short story titled “The Phantom House” about a couple in search of their dream home. It was my attempt at taking real reports of ghost houses/buildings and putting a new twist on the haunted house idea.
I realize horror writers are not the only ones plagued with this problem. What are some cliche scenarios in your genre? Have you succeeded with staying away from them?