Revising the Horror Novella

By Katherine Cavallaro

Faculty Mentor: Professor Ray Levy

I began my independent study project with the goal of revising an incomplete and unedited novella draft I had worked on the previous semester. I had hopes of creating something close to a finished and polished novella at the end of this semester. I approached this goal from two directions. First, the novella I am working on is an adventure/horror hybrid, so I began the semester doing research and work on how to write an effective work of horror. In the second half of the semester, I shifted to research and focused on effective techniques for editing and revising fiction drafts. Throughout the semester, I continued to edit and revise my novella, using the skills I gained in both horror and editing practices to make continual improvements. I produced several writing exercises throughout the semester, but my most important product I made was the actual drafts of my novella. The final draft showcases everything I have learned this semester and during my overall time in UMW’s creative writing program. The novella is well over fifty pages, so I have chosen to include selected excerpts that I think best highlight the work I have done. A brief description of the novella can be found alongside these excerpts.