How to begin writing a horror story

Whether you are an aspiring horror author or not, work at creating consistent mood and tone.

how to write a horror story opening examples

Instinctive fears Fears that have some sort of logical or biological foundation are often the most potent in horror.

We sit and stare at pieces of paper with words on them, imagining monsters that we know are entirely made up Many mystery and thriller novels employ unreliable narration in order to work up to a big twist without giving away too much.

Many horrific tales peak with a threat of death not to the main character, but to one or several of their loved ones as in Phantom of the Opera or Red Dragon.

Mesh all this together to create horror in your story. Horror tends to deal with morbid situations, from repetitive cycles of violence to death-related uncanny scenarios. So: to twist or not to twist? The scariest thing is feeling out of control Giphy For Clive Barker, horror comes from the realization that we are not in control.

In this approach, while the showdown itself might not be a surprise, the scenes leading up to it build tension and anticipation for the climax. But in between the blaze and the flood it lit the middle of his room, and standing there — shaking the rain off his hat — was a stranger.

How to write a horror story opening

I'd had it drummed into my head in creative writing workshop courses that one could not expect to be a respected writer when writing commercial or genre books. Your imagination should be vivid and wild if you are going to produce a great horror story. After Emily dies, the villagers discover the corpse of a long-vanished traveler in one of her spare beds — along with a strand of silver hair. Copy out your favourite quotes that create an eerie sense of place and re-read when trying to make your own settings more vivid. You can continue to rewrite a story until you are comfortable and okay with the story. This kind of narration is often used in longer-form horror, popularized by the likes of Stephen King and Dean Koontz. Many horrific tales peak with a threat of death not to the main character, but to one or several of their loved ones as in Phantom of the Opera or Red Dragon. Click To Tweet 5. Plot twists are exciting, memorable, and help bring previous uncertainty into focus, releasing tension by revealing the truth. Forge a link between your characters and readers.

Actively learning from great authors will improve your mastery of the horror genre. This especially true in subgenres like cosmic horrorwhich have to do with the great mysteries of the universe, often involving ancient history.

Horror story structure

Copy out your favourite quotes that create an eerie sense of place and re-read when trying to make your own settings more vivid. The main thing to remember when it comes to horror — especially horror stories — is that straightforward stakes tend to have the greatest impact. Make the stakes obvious In order for readers to truly thrill at your horror story, you need to make them aware of the stakes. Attack your characters in their day to day activity, let him or her see a little monster in her cup or turn the drinking water to blood, make snakes come out of the shower instead of water or let the food turn to a human head and so on. In horror writing, a dark or frightening tone is often pronounced. Making readers scared creates tension and increases the pace of your story. Write stories that matter to you, and ground them in real emotions.

Pride and prejudice and zombies, oh my!

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How to Start a Horror Story: 15 Steps (with Pictures)