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Writing better Horror Stories

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by WordyWonderland, Feb 23, 2019.

  1. WordyWonderland

    WordyWonderland Scribe

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    Horror. One of the most difficult genres besides thriller. Don’t get me wrong! Of course, the monster can rip off the character’s arm three pages long. But it isn’t real horror. It’s splatter. I know that many people think films like SAW are horror. But they are classified as splatter, not horror. So, how can I write a killer horror story (he he)? I don’t want use those overused monsters like zombies or vampires. Or those overused plots that someone is obsessed by a demon or spirit. Or that someone uses a board and it get wrong. Any tips for me?
     
  2. goldhawk

    goldhawk Troubadour

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    Keep your evil in the shadows. The greatest fear is fear of the unknown. Never reveal your evil completely, just enough to show the threat. Give your readers ample room to let their imagination feed their fear.

    Never let your characters defeat the evil. The best they can do is a temporary setback. When they come up with a plan to defeat the evil, your readers must know beforehand that it will not work. Your evil must be relentless but also be able to prune it back. Your readers must know the evil cannot be stop but a reprieve is possible. They have to hope that they are wrong about their fear.
     
    KC Trae Becker likes this.
  3. WordyWonderland

    WordyWonderland Scribe

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    goldhawkgoldhawk Like Birdbox? But how can I describe it then? (*cough* inner cinema... H.P. Lovecraft *cough*)
     
  4. goldhawk

    goldhawk Troubadour

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    Not how but how much. Just enough to make its threat real.
     
  5. WordyWonderland

    WordyWonderland Scribe

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    Let’s say, my setting is kinda a mix between a jungle and a VR escape room. How can I describe the horror there?
     
  6. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    Often with horror keeping things very simple and leaving things to the imagination is best. For example, from the first chapter of our second book, Ties of Blood and Bone...


    The demon ran a finger through the blood on Lizzie’s chest and licked at it like it was honey. “You’re strong, little Lizzie. You might not be the ideal sacrifice, but I think you’ll do.”

    Magnus stepped closer, but not too close. “Shall I use her to feed the Demon Gate, then?”

    The demon bent and licked blood directly from her skin. “Yes. And then… we play.”

    Lizzie did not die from the bleeding and the pain. She did not die when their Gate opened on a blighted, red hellscape, its structure fueled by her stolen life force, black smoke undulating from its depths like grasping hands.

    So, she was alive when the demon began to eat her.
     
  7. WordyWonderland

    WordyWonderland Scribe

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    A. E. LowanA. E. Lowan Well. Bestseller concepts are often simple. I mean, let's take Victoria Aveyard's Red Queen as an example. It doesn't matter how detailed the story is. The basic concept is as simple as a white sheet of paper. It's about the fight between two countries; red blood vs. silver blood; might is right; family; etc. Well. If you think that those themes are totally overused, you're right. But hey! It's a YA problem. So, it's ok.
     
  8. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    I just wanted to say that one of the characters in my WIP is also named Magnus. :D (sorry, back to the thread...)
     
    A. E. Lowan likes this.
  9. WordyWonderland

    WordyWonderland Scribe

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    Chessie2 likes this.
  10. NetherLord

    NetherLord Acolyte

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    Horror can be erotic, but when I read a good horror I want to know the emotions of the victim, and the thoughts of the bystanders.

    Example,
    Carrie felt the deep bone shattering pain of the first bite, her body violently jerked as she tried to free her leg form the mouth of the beast as wave of pain traveled to her head, she shrieked so loud Creg could feel her pain, and he knew he was next as he watched the beast fling Carrie's entire body into his mouth encapsuleating her screams and swallowing her whole.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
    KC Trae Becker likes this.
  11. Crcata

    Crcata Acolyte

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    Horror may be difficult to execute properly...but I LOVE it so much lol.
     
    NetherLord likes this.
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