8.29.2016

middle grade


I don't recall 'young adult' being a literary term when I was growing up, though it has existed since the 1960s. These were 'single-problem' stories then, though growing disinterest eventually morphed the genre to a horror focus in the 1980s with the help of Christopher Pike and R.L. Stine. Harry Potter later caused a shift towards fantasy around the same time of a 'real-life' story resurgence (perhaps thanks to Perks of Being a Wallflower  - I've found no pinpointed influence, but all others seem to appear after Perks' 1999 release). The 'young adult' term then became commonplace.

Upon recently researching the word counts of children's classics, I discovered more terms - 'chapter books' and 'middle grade.' I hadn't previously realized there was such separation.

Chapter Books: for ages 7-10
15,000-30,000 words

I read an article classifying The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe as a chapter book, which I find ridiculous. It certainly can be read in this age group, but it does not particularly resemble properly classified works like The Haunting of Grade Three, My Teacher is an Alien, and Howliday Inn.

Middle Grade: for ages 8-12
30,000-50,000 words

Fantasy works now generally allow for more words, though 60,000 seems to be the recommended maximum. Works are generally third person, focused on externalization, and have protagonists generally up to the age of 13. This is slightly surprising, as this would put them around 7th grade, but a more high school-focus might be too foreign.

Young Adult: for ages 13-18
50,000-75,000 words

Typically told in first person and focused in internalized thoughts. I admittedly feel a bit disinterested/out-of-touch with these.

Word counts of works notable to my research:

Tuck Everlasting: 27,848
How To Train Your Dragon: 30,744
The Lion, The Witch, & the Wardrobe: 36,363
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: 39,295
The Book of Three: 46,000
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: 46,333
Mrs. Frisby & the Rats of NIMH: 53,752
The Wizard of Earthsea: 56,533
Treasure Island: 66,950
Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone: 77,325

So I suppose I've been planning on writing a middle grade book.

8.17.2016

horror films: 50 favorites


Favorite Horror Movies

1. Halloween (1978)
2. The Fog (1982)
3. The Shining
4. John Carpenter's The Thing
5. In the Mouth of Madness
6. Jaws
7. Pulse (2001)
8. The 'Burbs
9. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
10. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers

11. Suicide Club
12. The Gate
13. Tremors
14. Messiah of Evil
15. Phenomena
16. The Hitcher (1986)
17. Night of the Demon (1957)
18. I Walked with a Zombie
19. Halloween II (1981)
20. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

21. Final Destination
22. Deep Red
23. Psycho (1960)
24. Phantasm
25. The Blair Witch Project
26. Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
27. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
28. Ringu
29. Omega Man
30. Vampire Circus

31. Halloween 3: Season of the Witch
32. Ginger Snaps
33. Christine
34. Poltergeist (1982)
35. Lost Highway
36. Shivers
37. Duel
38. Cure
39. Alien
42. Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)

41. Ghost Watch
42. Tales From the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight
43. Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge
44. Jacob's Ladder
45. Iron Rose
46. The Ninth Gate
47. Unfriended
48. Stir of Echoes
49. Mill of the Stone Women
50. The Legend of Hell House

Films That Almost Made It: The Appointment, The Blob (1988), Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers, Jeepers Creepers 2, Last Exorcism, Last Exorcism pt. 2, Maximum Overdrive, Night of the Living Dead (1968), Noroi: The Curse, Tombs of the Blind Dead

John Carpenter has four titles in the top five.

The Halloween series is clearly a favorite, thanks largely to Donald Pleasence's Dr. Loomis. His bonkers portrayal in the fifth entry - holding cops at gunpoint, telling a girl that her tears won't save her, beating Michael Myers down with a 2x4 - is a particular highlight.

Some horror lists consider psychological thrillers, but this one opted not to - hence why there is no Night of the Hunter. Also, I do not consider Gojira a piece of the genre. However, I understand how David Lynch's nightmare works can fit so that was considered. I have no idea in what genre Omega Man belongs.