The Haunting of Hill House is a 1959 novel by author Shirley Jackson. Finalist for the National Book Award and considered one of the best literary ghost stories published during the 20th century, it has been made into two feature films and a play. Jackson’s novel relies on terror rather than horror to elicit emotion by the reader, utilizing complex relationships between the mysterious events in the house and the characters’ psyches.
Tips On Writing
If you’re writing your own haunted house stories and murder mysteries, and are in need of a little inspiration, here are a few of my favourite of Jackson’s thoughts about the process of putting words down on paper:
“I tell myself stories all day long, and I have managed to weave a fairy tale of infinite complexity around the inanimate objects in my house…”
“A writer who is serious and economical can store away small fragments of ideas and events and conversations, and even facial expressions and mannerisms, and use them all someday.”
Did You Know?..
Talking about the opening paragraph of The Haunting of Hill House, Stephen King once wrote that:
“there are few if any descriptive passages in the English language that are any finer than this; it is the sort of quiet epiphany every writer hopes for: words that somehow transcend the sum of the parts.”