31 days of Halloween, day 31: writing horror

Since it is the last day of Halloween, and Nanowrimo Eve, the list today is horror books and movies about WRITERS! (There’s going to be a lot of Stephen King here, bear with me).


The Dark Half by Stephen King could have gone in my list of meta horror, as it’s about a writer who kills off his pseudonym, which is something King did with his nom de plume, Richard Bachman.

Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk has more than one writer among its cast of characters – it has a whole group of them. The short stories in this collection are all purportedly written by writers at a writer’s retreat.

Master of Murder by Christopher Pike is about a teen novelist who somehow made the New York Times bestseller list under a pen name. But when he starts getting threatening letters from someone who claims to know who he really is, he finds himself in the middle of a real mystery.



Secret Window (2004) is based on a Stephen King short story about a bestselling author who is being haunted by his own past – namely, the guy in his creative class that he plagiarized for his first publication.

Sinister (2012) stars Ethan Hawke as a true crime writer who discovers an unsolved case about some child murders and decides to move his family into the house, without telling them about the murders, while he writes a book about it. Basically, this is about a writer who is a little TOO dedicated to his craft.

In the Mouth of Madness (1994) stars Sam Neill as a fraud investigator who gets called in to investigate the disappearance of an author “bigger than Stephen King,” Sutter Cane. It’s said the author’s books will transport your mind, and the investigator, along with Cane’s editor, find themselves trapped in Cane’s fictional town, with his horror stories coming to life around them.

Appendix: other stories & novels by Stephen King about writers

  • “1408” (in Everything’s Eventual)
  • Bag of Bones
  • “The Body” (in Different Seasons)
  • It
  • Lisey’s Story
  • Misery
  • “The Road Virus Heads North” (in Everything’s Eventual)
  • ‘Salem’s Lot
  • The Shining
  • “Word Processor of the Gods” (in Skeleton Crew)

I can’t wait to start Nanowrimo! Who’s staying up until midnight to write their first line?

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