Writing, Arts & Entertainment

Making Monsters

R.L. Stine

Lesson time 06:05 min

Bob teaches you how to transform inanimate objects into terrifying monsters with examples from It Came from Beneath the Sink! and Say Cheese and Die!

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Understand What Makes a Monster • Even Inanimate Objects Can Be Monsters • Dolls Make Great Monsters


What makes a monster a monster? Yeah, I think it's anything that's not controlled. And I think kids have this fear. I mean, they have these feelings of wanting to be out of control. They have feelings of anger and anxiety, and it's mostly suppress it all the time, have to suppress it, hold it in. And a monster is something that doesn't suppress it at all. A monster is out of control. And what's scarier? I don't think anything is scarier than something that's completely out of control and something you can't do anything about. That's a monster. You have to be open and remember things that you've seen, remember all the old monsters, and try to come up with new ones. I did a "Goosebumps" called "Frankenstein's Dog," where the dog is a vicious, horrible monster. I try to picture the monsters. I can't draw. If I could draw, I would draw them. Some people can draw. I can't draw anything. But I do try, when I was doing a swamp monster, you have to try to picture what exactly it looks like. If you're doing even something like monster blood-- monster blood, they open the jar and it starts to grow and it's sticky. People stick to it. You have to kind of picture is it bubbly, is it smooth? You have to force yourself to be visual. Some writers talk to me and say, how do you do a new monster? How can you do it? And I say anything can be a monster. Take anything, anything. You know, a teddy bear. Take something. "It Came from Beneath the Sink" was about a sponge. Now who writes a horror novel about a sponge, right? But in this book, the monster was a sponge. It was just a sponge that actually had eyes, but it was a sponge. If I can turn a sponge, a little tiny sponge, into a monster, you can take anything, just take anything and give it power. Make it terrible. Have it do horrible things. Even an inanimate object like a camera. I'm thinking of "Say Cheese and Die" and "The Evil Camera". Even a camera becomes like a monster. This camera in this book shows terrible pictures of things happening to the kids who have the camera a few minutes later. They take a picture, and then a few minutes later-- they take a picture, and a kid's in a car accident. It's showing the kid in a car accident. And they say, well, that's-- and then a few minutes later, the kid is in a car accident. The photos always come true. But here's something that's not a big creature. It's not a giant King Kong. It's not a big dinosaur. It's just a camera, but it's just as horrifying. Of all of the creatures, all the the ones I've created, there's only one that's really captured everyone's imagination, and it's kind of a surprise to me. Of all these monsters, Jelly Jam and the Shaggedy, and all these things, only Slappy has become like universal. Slappy the evil dummy. This idea of a doll coming to life is very scary to people. And I don't know, I love writing it. It's a lot of fun to write. I've written 12 Slappy books. I keep doing new ones, which is hard because it's...

About the Instructor

Award-winning novelist R.L. Stine wrote jokes and funny stories for 20 years before he switched gears and became a horror-writing legend. Since then, the author of the Goosebumps and Fear Street series has sold more than 400 million copies. In his first-ever online writing class, Bob takes the fear out of crafting fiction. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you’ll learn new ways to conquer writer’s block, develop plots, and build nail-biting suspense that will thrill young readers.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

R.L. Stine

The Goosebumps author teaches you how to generate ideas, outline a plot, and hook young readers from the first page.

Explore the Class
Sign Up