We can imagine early writers sitting around campfires spinning tales of comedy or romance or epic struggle, but, just like today, they would have also told tales to bring thrilling chills to their audience and scare nightmares into them. How do these masters do it? A good way to begin writing a Horror story is to determine what it is that terrifies people.
Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and download free character development worksheets! Appel March 29, The sentence you are currently reading has the potential to brand itself indelibly upon our cultural consciousness and to alter the course of Western Civilization.
In writing, as in dating and business, initial reactions matter. This post is by Jacob M. Appel is a physician, attorney and bioethicist based in New York City.
Visit him at jacobmappel. While drilling aspiring literati on the subtleties of characterization and plot, few, if any, writing instructors offer lessons on crafting a first line, or even an introductory paragraph—though many agents and editors, if not impressed after a sentence or two, will read no further.
Think of every opening line you write as a pebble tossed down a mountainside: The stone may jolt back and forth within a limited path, building up force, but the trajectory of its initial release largely determines its subsequent route.
Never forget that the entire course of a story or novel, like an avalanche, is largely defined within its first seconds. To craft a compelling story, you must first launch it in the right direction.
Here are 10 ways to do it. The first cardinal rule of opening lines is that they should possess most of the individual craft elements that make up the story as a whole. An opening line should have a distinctive voice, a point of view, a rudimentary plot and some hint of characterization.
By the end of the first paragraph, we should also know the setting and conflict, unless there is a particular reason to withhold this information. This need not lead to elaborate or complex openings. We have a basic plot: And we have a sense of characterization: All of that in eight words.
Immediately, we face a series of potential questions: Where else, if anywhere, did she wish to go? Who did want to go to Florida? A successful opening line raises multiple questions, but not an infinite number.
In other words, it carries momentum. Resist the urge to start too early. You might be tempted to begin your narrative before the action actually starts, such as when a character wakes up to what will eventually be a challenging or dramatic day.
Far better to begin at the first moment of large-scale conflict. Remember that small hooks catch more fish than big ones. If you begin writing at the most dramatic or tense moment in your story, you have nowhere to go but downhill.
Similarly, if your hook is extremely strange or misleading, you might have trouble living up to its odd expectations. As a fishing buddy of mine explains, the trick is to use the smallest hook possible to make a catch—and then to pull like crazy in the opposite direction.
Open at a distance and close in. In modern cinema, films commonly begin with the camera focused close up on an object and then draw back panoramically, often to revelatory effect, such as when what appears to be a nude form is actually revealed to be a piece of fruit.
This technique rarely works in prose. Open your story accordingly. Avoid getting ahead of your reader. One of the easiest pitfalls in starting a story is to begin with an opening line that is confusing upon first reading, but that makes perfect sense once the reader learns additional information later in the story.
The problem is that few readers, if confused, will ever make it that far. That technique is often a highly rewarding tool. But the opening should make sense on both levels—with and without knowledge the reader will acquire later. Start with a minor mystery.Nov 03, · A good horror story is all about creating extreme emotions like fear or anxiety in the reader.
Be clear about what will happen if the character does not get what they want. The stakes of the story, or the consequences if the character does not achieve 77%(). Oct 04, · So tonight I'm taking my first stab at a psychological horror story that I'm dubbing "The Bitter Cold".
Pretty self explanatory; there's a third ice age and temperatures keep dropping and it follows one family through their sort-of-survival. This is a "Horror" story I had to write for my Creative Writing Class. I want as much feedback as I can get! Don't be afraid to be mean, say whatever you want about it.
If you’re looking for idea starters, writing prompts and plot ideas for a mystery novel, a horror novel, a thriller, or any kind of spooky screenplay, you might find what you’re looking for here! These are also great for creative writing exercises, especially around Halloween.
Sep 20, · Read effective examples of horror and suspense stories, from classic ghost stories to contemporary horror writing. Some specific examples worth examining include: “The Monkey’s Paw,” an 18th century tale by William Wymark Jacobs%().
17 Ways To Write A Terrifyingly Good Horror Story I've reached a point in my WIP where I have to kill off one of my antagonist's minions in a grizzly way and was curious what tips other writers had for creating a gross out scene.