– by Josh Schlossberg
People often act surprised when I tell them I’m both a journalist and a horror fiction writer.
I mean, I get it: In many ways the two fields don’t even occupy the same landscape. In one, shameless hacks make up fake stories to exploit the most depraved aspects of the human experience, while the other is a celebrated genre of literature popularized by respected writers such as Bram Stoker, H.P. Lovecraft, and Stephen King.
Seriously, though, while quality journalism presents a spectrum of viewpoints all at once, horror fiction is typically about seeing the world through the biased (even warped) lens of one character at a time.
The mechanics of the writing itself also tend to differ, where spare and simple prose best conveys the facts essential to newswriting, while in fiction colorful word choice and stylistic phrasing amplify a writer’s unique voice.
But the lines can—and often do—blur. Whether it’s an article delving into the gun control debate or a story about swimmers devoured by a lake monster, both crafts are driven by our inborn attraction to conflict.