A Sense of Dread features three main sections. 1) A detailed examination
of the biological, psychological, and cultural bases of fear. What
fears do we share with animals? What fears are uniquely human? What
fears have we learned from our culture? From our families? From our
experiences growing up? And what, exactly, is the difference between
fear and dread? 2) A Sense of Dread then combines these ideas to explore
the roots of human fear and apply them to storytelling for the screen.
"The Toolbox of Dread" outlines the techniques for creating terror on
the page. A wide array of horror subgenres are also explored, including
why they exist, and what challenges each presents to the horror
screenwriter. 3) Author Neal Marshall Stevens puts Theory into Practice,
using examples from his own work to demonstrate how to apply his
"toolbox" and the principles of "Dread" to put real scares into the
pages of a screenplay. Finally, we seek to answer the question many
people ask: What are you afraid of?