How to write a great horror novel

Share Tweet Submit Pin Horror is a peculiar genre. And what is scary?

How to write a great horror novel

I should blog about this. The beating undead heart of horror is the knowledge that bad things happen to good people.

Readers want the best for the character while realizing that the best rarely happens. Your protagonist must make mistakes.

The 50 Best Horror Novels of All Time :: Books :: Lists :: Horror :: Page 1 :: Paste

Mistakes that put their life, as well as their sanity, in jeopardy. CW writes that "[ CW puts it this way: Make the reader care about, identify with, your character. Have the danger descend on your protagonist because of a choice they made.

Have the decision that puts your character in danger be either selfless or smart or at least not blindingly stupid. An attractive blond teenager hears an ominous noise outside the house.

Moments later the lights stop working. Does our heroine run into the bathroom and lock the door?

how to write a great horror novel

She calls out "Is anyone out there? She leaves the relative safety of the house to, all alone, go and see what made the mysterious noise. And of course she gets slaughtered.

That said, yes, your victim should decide to go out and face the danger, but give them a credible reason. Horror stories have been around as long as humans. The first storytellers sat around a campfire at night making shadow puppets, telling tales of strong, daring, hunters and the creatures that killed them.

The special effects department was the guy who flicked grape juice at the cave wall as the shadow hunter is skewered by the shadow beast. They contain many of the elements that make horror what it is: Write about what terrifies you. When researching this article I came across a wonderful thread over at AbsoluteWrite.

Character Worksheets

Here are some of the highlights: Ways to create a situation that will terrify an audience: For example, trap the character in a cellar, a church, an abandoned hospital, an underground parking garage, an island, and so on.

Ask yourself, What kind of a confined space scares you? Were you trapped somewhere as a child, unable to free yourself, forced to wait and hope someone would come and rescue you? The character restricts their own movement. Play on primal fears. The unknown, the dark. A dark staircase or stairwell.

A character is trying to flee then becomes stuck.To write a credible horror novel, in other words, show that the horror-filled situation is dependent on a network of character choices, past or present. At its heart, horror fiction reminds us that cause and effect is real, even in the fantastical realm of storytelling.

The genre of horror has ancient origins with roots in folklore and religious traditions, focusing on death, the afterlife, evil, the demonic and the principle of the thing embodied in the person.


These were manifested in stories of beings such as witches, vampires, werewolves and plombier-nemours.coman horror fiction became established through works by the Ancient Greeks and Ancient Romans. The House of the Seven Gables is a Gothic novel written beginning in mid by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne and published in April by Ticknor and Fields of Boston.

The novel follows a New England family and their ancestral home. In the book, Hawthorne explores themes of guilt, retribution, and atonement, and colors the tale with suggestions of the supernatural and witchcraft. Aug 21,  · How to Write a Horror Story.

Horror stories can be as fun to write as they are to read. "I have been trying to write a horror novel, and this article helped me a lot. Thank you, team wikiHow." AI Asher Ingram. Aug 21, "Great!

I want to start a horror story and this information gave me the last boost I needed!" NS Natania Solomon 67%(95). That first novel of Gothic horror inspired such works as Vathek () by William Beckford, A Sicilian Romance (), The Mysteries of Udolpho () and The Italian () by Ann Radcliffe and The Monk () by Matthew Lewis.

Horror is a peculiar genre. If it’s meant purely to scare, then some of the heftier books on this list would have wracked up a body count, terrifying readers to death over pages or more.

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