‘Tis the Season for the Creepy and the Crawly, the Spooky and the Ooky (Penny Rader)


Happy Halloween!  ‘Tis the season for spooky stuff so I trolled the net for tips on creeping out our readers.  I hope you’ll click and read the posts.  I’ve given a few snippets to whet your appetite because even though we write romance you never know when you might want to push your readers to the very edge of their seats.

How to write a scary scene (Susan Dennard)

…a few things I think are needed to make an edge-of-the-seat scene:

  1. The reader/viewer must know more than the character and be forced to wait for the Big Scare.
  2. The reader/viewer must be focused entirely on the scene with introspection absolutely restricted to reaction to surroundings.
  3. The reader must not know when the Big Scare will strike.
  4. When it does strike, it must not be what the reader expects.

How to Write a Scary Story (Maggie Hammand)

We don't like things that are in the wrong place. Things that are too big, things that are too small, things that look like they ought to be something, but they're not quite - they're something slightly different - are very scary. Also remember when you're writing something scary, you want to engage your reader's imagination.

How to Write Horror: Writing Tips for Scary Stories (By Ashley Sinatra)

Write about what scares you: One of the most important writing tips for a horror story is that you cannot produce a good horror book or short story if you are not willing to confront your own fears. To write a scary story, you must be willing to dig deep down inside of yourself. You also have to force yourself to daydream and imagine yourself in a frightening situation.

Three Tips for Scary Scenes (Rayne Hall)

  • Darkness
  • Sound 
  • Chill

Vocabulary Words for Writing Scary Stories (Nadine Smith)

Check out the post for (and maybe start your lists?):

  • Words that set the mood
  • Words that evoke the five senses
  • Words that heighten suspense
  • Words that show fear

Write a Scary Scene (Cynthia Light Brown)

  1. Write what scares you.
  2. Tap into the lizard brain.
  3. Start slow, then build.
  4. Keep us in the moment.

Wanna play?  I found a few horror writing prompts here and here

If you’re game, choose one of these and share what you come up with in the Comments:

  • There is a glass scratching sound on your house's windows and you get up out of bed to check it out. You look toward the windows and don't see anything. All of the sudden the glass breaks and something jumps in! What is it and what do you do next?
  • A friend of yours has had an ancient curse levied upon him. What do you do to help and what happens to him throughout the curse?
  • Begin with the words, “Yes, it’s true.”
  • You're walking around a dark corridor when you turn around. You soon discover turning around may have been the worst decision of your life...
  • Write about a witch, a wizard, and their four kids.

Need pictures to get really creeped out and write a super scary scene or story?  Check out these Scary Photo Prompts.


LisaRayns said...

Great tips. Happy Halloween!

Joan Vincent said...

As usual your links are great, Penny. It doesn't take much to scare me. If I'm home alone I hear all sorts of sounds that I wouldn't notice otherwise. Something I try to remember for my characters.