Write Better: Freak Me Out

The Halloween spirit is in full effect! And no one loves being scared more than me! But that’s beside the point! Writing horror can feel a little out of place, but October is all about stepping out of our comfort zone and getting a little gory. So let’s talk about what makes for a great freak out in our work.

  1. Its all about fear! Playing on common fears starts the story with the reader right where you want them, on edge. There are several ways to get into the readers head. Instinctive fear plays on things that are logical or biological. Most common version of this would be the fears of things like darkness. Another option would be the supernatural or monsters. And I, for one, love a good monster. Or try using social tension. There is a lot of life changing events happening that can give you plenty of inspiration.
  2. The right setting is key. Once you jot down your ideas, details of the right atmosphere, are next and a must. There are a few things to keep in mind as you write. Subgenres will help you settle into your desire setting. Thrillers should be screwing with the readers fears from the beginning, or shortly into the story. Gross-out horrors need descriptive carnage. So spare no exotic word when your villain makes their play. Classic horror should feel more gothic.
  3. Make the stake clear. Is you main character protecting his family? Is it life or death? Or maybe chasing down an unsolved mystery? This NEEDS to be clear.
  4. Dig deep for something new. Keep all your writing basics in mind, but try to find a new monster/virus/supervillain/what ever you choose. Just because it sounds like the same old story, adding a new element to your monster.

Happy Halloween… now go write something!

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