how to write a horror story

How to Write a Horror Story?

The horror genre has a deep relation with ancient folklore and myths about evil spirits. The purpose of this genre is to create strong or scary reactions and show the darker side of human nature. This genre is important for writing horror stories skilfully. It is not easy to create a sense of fear or terror among the reader. 

How to write a good horror story that lets the reader go to the haunting caves where they completely feel the fear closely. The intensity of incidents, curiosity, or haunted houses, monsters, ghosts, vampires, werewolves, zombies, or otherworldly entities decides whether it is a unique piece of horror or not. 

This post will help you how to write horror stories.

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Start with a Disturbingly Gripping Concept

The description of scenes that raise your goosebumps while reading them is how to write a good horror story. Brainstorming is quite important to select the different scenes that shiver down your body while reading them. Using the concepts that keep your readers awake at night. a disturbing concept is very important to write a high-quality horror book.

Tips for Writing a Horror Story

Writing a horror novel doesn’t require following any writing rules, because the purpose of the writer is to evoke terror in the reader. Good horror writing has the power to pull the reader into the terrific world and grab him tightly that the reader can’t resist. 

All you need to follow is some advice on how to write a good horror story:

Read Plenty of Horror

You are unable to create horror in your writings until you feel it to yourself. For this purpose, you must read different Gothic horror, psychological horror, cosmic horror, and supernatural horror. This plenty of horror reading helps the author to create a masterpiece of writing.

The Setting Creates the Atmosphere

The setting of writing a horror novel is the soul of horror novels. An author’s horror must focus on this element because scattered settings can’t create fear among readers. You must create a scary atmosphere at first through the context of horror literature. 

After that, you should use different other elements including location, period, weather, architecture, geography, witches, shrieks, and others to dip your content in more fear. 

The description of these elements is necessary to scare the reader. If you use these settings to write a horror piece of story, you will succeed in your aim.

Ask Yourself What Frightens You?

The horror word is so powerful. Remember our fears are the same, so your inner fears create a powerful role here. You must know what things scare you so you will be able to create pieces of horror writing that will scare the reader. 

Stories are based on imagination. People don’t get frightened in the dark but when they imagine the presence of anything else around them, this scares them a lot. The right selection of imagination will decide how to write a horror book.

Plot Structure of Horror

The plot is the base of the story. A horror story must have a strong plot that gives structure to the story. For writing a successful horror story you must follow a three-act dramatic structure.

Here is a brief description of this three-act dramatic structure:

Act 1: Setting Up the Situation

  • The Hidden Monster: When writing a scary scene, you must point out the existence of all monsters or threats. Description of different events and unexplained phenomena provide more strength to the plot.
  • Introducing the Characters: Characters are the most important part of your writing. First, make a horror character in your mind, and after that shift them in the reader’s mind by writing horror novels. Pinpoint all their relationships, fears, or weaknesses.
  • Meeting the Monster: The appearance of the monster creates a terrifying situation but still, most of the fearful incidents are hidden.

Act 2: Rising Tension

  • The Turning Point: This is a moment in the story where things get much worse for the characters. The danger from the monster/threat increases. This makes them helpless and puts them in a desperate situation.
  • The Pursuit: The monster is constantly chasing the human character. This creates a feeling of constant danger because the threat is always getting closer.
  • The First Failed Confrontation: Here the humans try to kill the monsters but they can’t. This makes the scene even more frightening for the readers.
  • All Is Lost: This situation is complicated for the hero to kill these monsters.

Act 3: The Climax

  • The Breakthrough: The good character finds new strength and overcomes their internal struggles. Just when all seems lost, they discover a way to defeat the threat.
  • The Final Confrontation: The good character finally faces off against the bad thing in a big fight. They either win and defeat it, or they lose bravely, but face some bad consequences either way.
  • The Fallout: The story ends by overcoming the fear of evil spirits. Even if they defeat the bad thing, they always give him a fear that it could come back someday. 

The plot setting is very important for writing horror stories. Without plots, no horror writing can make your writings famous among readers.

Explore Horror Tropes and Themes

Tropes or themes are powerful tools in your horror writing. They create an environment where the reader gets frightened and bound to read more. Whenever you want to write a horror story, try to focus on them because their absence can ruin your story completely.

Here are some tropes are defined below:

Isolation and Claustrophobia

This is the feeling that lets you bound in the thoughts that you are all alone in a terrifying area where only darkness, words, shrieks, or evil spirits are there. 

The Unknown and Cosmic Horror

This is the situation where you are helpless to know about the presence of some other creatures. The reader is stuck in a position where he can feel the presence of someone else around him but is unable to recognize them.

Gothic Horror

The use of gothic horror is quite necessary in writing horror stories. It is the presence of humanity and unnatural forces of evil at a place. Moreover, the presence of haunted castles or mansions makes the atmosphere scarier and it creates the atmosphere of psychological torment.

Monsters and Creatures

The presence of monsters or creatures is essential to create intensity in the horror. These supernatural and their terror increases the horror in the story.

Haunted Objects and Curses

The use of haunted objects including dark rooms, blood stains, shrieks, evil spirits, and skulls are some of the objects that can serve as focal points for your horror.

However, it is not only important to use these tropes or themes in the novel. These tropes are helpful in how to write good stories.

Develop Complex Characters:

The complexity of the characters is the foundation of an intense horror scene. Multi-dimensional characters have complicated personalities that keep the readers confused or scared while reading the story. These characters add a layer of complexity which keeps the reader tied in the horror world.

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