Seducing Scary StoriesA Lesson by Camille Corbett
Because Edgar Allen Poe didn't die in a ditch all by himself.
Crawling creatures, damp dungeons and foreboding foes, are what comes to mind when scary stories are mentioned. Not to mention the sight of my favorite little emo author, Edgar Allen Poe, lying face first in a ditch somewhere near the Mississippi river. Or difficulties. Because in my little prole opinion, scary stories and mysteries are tied as the hardest things to write. However, my school's literary magazine had a scary story contest and I researched my arse off on how to make a decent scary story. Therefore, I will try to siphon off some of my knowledge and bestow it to you. Because honestly, if a freak like me keeps it all stored up inside, what good will it do?
1.) SHOW DON'T TELL-
When you're characterizing you're characters, use indirect characterization, it will color your story better and make it seem less elementary. If you don't know what indirect characterization is, I will provide you with a few links BELOW.
This one is a tad more wordy.
This one provides good examples:
2.) FORESHADOWING DOESN'T MEAN DARKEN YOUR FONT-
Add some suspense, intrigue, wonder, make your audience think, keep them on their knees! Make them piss themselves with the suspense!
Here's a great essay on the necessity of foreshadowing!
And for all of you new writers who don't know what foreshadowing is, here is the wiki, it should clear things up for you.
It is an absolute necessity when writing scary stories that will effect the reader the most. You must dig deep into your mind for words that will engender the most gruesome and striking images in the reader's mind. Here's a neat little powerpoint I found about diction that should assist you in your endeavors
4.) DO NOT START. I MEAN IT. DO NOT START IN MEDIA RES.
Please, please , please, develop a back story before you dive into the action. It's just too messy to do otherwise. So try and follow this basic diagram
I know a lot of people have problems with dialog, especially in scary stories. Because either they are new writers and haven't fully grasped how certain people talk, or they just don't know when they should let their character's speak. Yes, in scary stories their tends to be a lot less dialog, but the butchering or almost complete eradication of it won't cut it either.
Here are some links it assist you with your dialog in these niggling stories.
This one is amazing!
Okay, now it's time for me to get my Bellatrix costume ready and to drink another cup of tea before I go to sleep. SHALOM MY NYPHETS!
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Added on October 31, 2010
Last Updated on October 31, 2010
AboutI'm a 21 year old Fulbright ETA writing to kill the time and find my sanity. I have been gone for a while. But I have returned, so watch out for some new stories.