Questions tagged [horror]

This tag should be used for works of fiction that are about invoking a certain feeling of fear and dread in the reader.

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How to write "The Breakdown Scene"? (cosmic horror)

I am currently writing a cosmic horror story, (without an eldritch abomination) and I am wondering how one would write the classic "You've seen too much and now your mind is breaking" scene ...
Robyn Starre's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
117 views

Writing a surreal, dreamlike setting?

I am working on a concept for an existential horror / comedy, similar to works like the DHMIS TV show and Little Runmo. I already have a collection of strange, dreamlike entities; like an organic ...
Robyn Starre's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
135 views

How do you turn a protagonist's desire to get revenge on an antagonist without killing the antagonist into a quantifiable and tangible goal?

I'm writing a story inspired by the 2010 South Korean movie called I Saw the Devil. The movie is about a secret service agent called Kim Soo-Hyun who enacts his revenge on a serial killer called Jang ...
Jude Zambarakji's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
216 views

How do I stop my villain from just showing up out of nowhere?

I suffer from “villain shows up out of nowhere syndrome”. My story involves a group of survivors trying to trek through a wasteland and reach a safe zone while my reoccurring main villain continuously ...
Parker's user avatar
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7 votes
4 answers
4k views

How do you make a story as scary as possible?

How do you make a story as scary as possible? The two things that I've been told is to make the story suspenseful by first making sure your readers know something terrible is going to happen, but not ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 14.9k
3 votes
2 answers
193 views

What are the elements that make up a good deep sea horror story?

I've been thinking about developing a small short story series themed around the deep sea (submarines, habitats, etc) and the abyssal void of such dark places. I've been really struggling to find ...
S.Richmond's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
135 views

I am writing a slasher story with a vigilante killer, do you believe that a person/character can deserve to be a victim? [closed]

In the stories that I am writing, which are my loud house "Lomond" horror fanfics, there are lots of victims who are very bad/evil people, this makes me wonder this: do you believe that a ...
Coolgamer2000s's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
183 views

Making an antagonist both scary and funny

In the story for a game I am making, there is a sideplot involving a messed up cult as a minor antagonist. Originally, the cult was supposed to be a comedic villain, mainly as a parody of religion in ...
Crafter's user avatar
  • 495
1 vote
3 answers
107 views

How do you avoid the whole "curiosity killed the cat" cliche?

I've started to write a lot more recently, especially in horror. And something that's been critiqued about my works is that they center around the whole "curiosity killed the cat" cliché. ...
Sam Lee's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
1 answer
123 views

How do I depict a character going insane because he's slowly losing his vision?

I have an idea for a story where a man, Paul Atkins, goes insane because he is slowly going blind and can no longer see his wife and family. He develops schizophrenic tendencies and can't tell if the ...
Kai Hansen's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
192 views

Do the mafia and dark fantasy genres work well together?

I've been writing a book for two years now, and it feels like the plot could work better if I include a mafia, like a lot of things would come together if I include that my male lead is the underboss ...
stuff's user avatar
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5 votes
5 answers
264 views

How could I show good worldbuilding without ending up with info-dumps?

A horror story I am writing involves the protagonist in another world. It is like an isekai, but it is horror and the protagonist is trying to survive as long as possible. The main story surrounds the ...
Crafter's user avatar
  • 495
0 votes
3 answers
179 views

What ways can be used to make a story secretly horror

I am trying to write the story for a game. It starts off well, only to end up really being horror. The goal is supposed to slowly become like that, but without the player figuring it out until it is ...
Crafter's user avatar
  • 495
3 votes
4 answers
181 views

How to make zombies be the primary antagonist and humans secondary

In my outbreak story, the main focus is the zombie survival in the quarantined state. These zombies cannot take out the government, but rather weaken them greatly. In my story, there are bad humans ...
Crafter's user avatar
  • 495
4 votes
4 answers
1k views

Is there a written equivalent to the "jump scare"?

The "jump scare" is a standard storytelling technique in horror and science fiction film and video games, in which a very rapid transition (stereotypically, a creature literally jumping up ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
122 views

Is fear of the unknown exploitable via extreme ambiguity?

My first horror/fantasy novel has received some criticism from peers, many of them claiming that I introduce the antagonist too early. The introduction of the antagonist is nearly instant, but ...
Gregory's user avatar
  • 11
0 votes
2 answers
131 views

Can you be too graphic in your descriptions?

I am writing a Harry Potter-like DnD fantasy story, but for readers of ages 18+. I have a description in my mind of the MC having lost his mother and his magic: The feeling is like a hand being ...
Author JesperSB's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
165 views

What is the difference between a horror and genre shift horror?

I think I have an ok good idea of what makes up a horror piece. But recently I've come across the term genre shift and wondered what exactly makes something not straight up horror but a piece that ...
FrontEnd's user avatar
  • 235
2 votes
5 answers
238 views

How do I weave suspense from mundane scenes?

My first horror short story starts with a quite quiet scene, quickly escalating to the protagonist's little brother being brutally murdered, with the only thing separating a family conversation ...
Gregory's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
1 answer
95 views

In Horror Fiction, what ways have Protagonist Been Introduced to the Dark Force(s)?

I haven't read through horror (or psychological) fiction extensively. I have sampled some of H.P. Lovecrafts work and some stories in different mediums, such as the video game Alan Wake (which has ...
junfanbl's user avatar
  • 123
2 votes
1 answer
153 views

Should I keep a horror element in a horror story a mystery as long as possible?

Should I keep a horror element in a horror story a mystery as long as possible? Let's say that I am writing a horror story and there's this ghost that keeps sending a letter to the main character in ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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11 votes
5 answers
5k views

Horror. Where to start?

Along with my first fantasy novel, I am starting to delve into horror, and I'm starting to sketch out an outline of a horror story (I have decided no gross-out today). If it helps, the story is about ...
Gregory's user avatar
  • 135
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can I write a story revolving around a video game (Without it taking place in game and making many changes)?

Okay, so this is odd, but hear me out. We've all heard the story, Person A finds a cursed video game cartridge, plays it, every character dies, Person B gets involved and dies, Person A gets rid of ...
Mason Black's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
178 views

How To Make Something Straight-foward and Dark Into A Kid's Picture Book?

Let me explain. My book is about a little boy directed by a "wolf" to burn his farm's sheep. Consequently, it burns on the grass and his house, making him kill or seriously injure most of ...
Marthra Rock's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
178 views

I found a story I wrote as a little kid. Should I finish it?

There was this story I was writing, when I was a little kid, that I found. I called it "Rage." I liked the story, and also liked a lot of the plot points. I want to continue it. However, ...
Acid Kritana's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
353 views

When writing science fiction or horror, how to prevent the villain from becoming less scary as they are fleshed out?

I'm trying to write a horror short story about a shape-shifter, but I have trouble keeping it from sounding like a science fiction story. The story starts out with a creepy tone, with a person close ...
sevensevens's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
456 views

How to write a scene were a character is falling in darkness? [closed]

Hello everyone I'm having issues on writing a scene about death. My character just died and I want to set a scene were she is falling in darkness. I'm having trouble about this . Could someone help ...
Joshua White's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
413 views

When someone sees something frightening, how can I make it obvious without sounding cliche?

I write a lot of horror, and I notice that my characters use "Oh my God!" when they're frightened in my scenes by a demon, ghost or murderer. How can I make them seem terrified without being so cliche ...
Dawn Kelli's user avatar
  • 1,075
0 votes
3 answers
599 views

How do I imply the horror of transforming into a werewolf from another character's point of view

I am very new to Stack Exchange. I want to ask a question I had on my mind for some time. I am considering writing a horror story with fantasy and military-like elements inserted into it, and I want ...
Tavdogg11's user avatar
17 votes
4 answers
4k views

How do I introduce dark themes?

My story involves a superhuman organization that aims to overthrow the main government, through any means necessary. This involves murder and some rather gruesome deaths. Additionally, there might be ...
overlord's user avatar
  • 271
2 votes
7 answers
647 views

How exactly can a writer write a horror story without making it so scary to the point where it's actually hard to read or watch?

I've recently started getting into horror lately and trying to learn how all of the genre works so that maybe I myself can write good horror. But there's been one thing on my mind that's been ...
Mike Anderson.'s user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
136 views

Thoroughly conveying my protagonist's thoughts and emotions

I'm currently writing a story in which our protagonist is trapped in a labyrinth of sorts. The twist here is that she is the monster within this maze yet she does not realize it as she has no memory ...
Baron360's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
191 views

Can monster/beasts be in a psychological horror

I am working on a psychological horror with an extra element. Monsters, and I don’t mean ghosts. My characters will face suspicions, distrust, paranoia and emotional disturbances. They will deal with ...
XxUnmercifulxX's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
272 views

What truly makes dark and morose storytelling effective?

This is a fairly simple, straightforward question that I hope I can get an answer to. Where is the line of separation between an effectively dark storytelling and trying too hard to be edgy with ...
The Murder of Angela Tyler's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
245 views

How can I emphasize the horror of a ritual without getting too overly graphic?

A person is born with a certain amount of mana, which increases with age and peaks at a certain point. Individuals are born with all the mana they will ever have, but it can be refined with practice ...
Incognito's user avatar
  • 1,991
12 votes
3 answers
2k views

Can disgust be a key component of horror?

The feeling of disgust is often used in horrors, exspecially visual medias (where is arguably easier to shock the audience with great effect). Often horror stories revolve around one scary element (a ...
Liquid's user avatar
  • 15.9k
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is the structure of a paranormal horror story?

Building on the definition of a Paranormal Story (as opposed to Dark Fantasy) described in the answers here: What are most common tropes of a paranormal book and dark fantasy book?. A paranormal ...
wetcircuit's user avatar
  • 27.2k
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

Monsters of psychological horror

According to Wikipedia, psychological horror is Psychological horror is a subgenre of horror and psychological fiction that relies on mental, emotional and psychological states to frighten, disturb,...
Liquid's user avatar
  • 15.9k
22 votes
8 answers
27k views

How to write painful torture scenes without being over-the-top

I'm trying to write torture scenes but I'm not really all that confident about it since I've never written anything like it before and have never really witnessed anything violent. I know the methods ...
Tiana's user avatar
  • 221
39 votes
11 answers
11k views

How can I portray body horror and still be sensitive to people with disabilities?

Building on my answer in Proven psychological or scientific means of scaring people?, I'm working on a universal horror-theme structure for a branching-narrative series with an occult detective. I won'...
wetcircuit's user avatar
  • 27.2k
1 vote
3 answers
400 views

Setting The Correct Tone

So, I've written a horror story and everybody says that it is indeed good but they also point out that while my premise is terrific, my narrative voice does not go with horror. That it reads "too soft ...
Sarthak Das's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
3k views

Proven psychological or scientific means of scaring people?

I already feel right out of the gate that this is going to be a naive question, but I'm going to ask it anyway. I know that writing horror does not guarantee that you're particularly good at it, and ...
bsideswiped's user avatar
4 votes
5 answers
2k views

Horror story in a hospital: how to unsettle the reader?

I'm new and I hope to do this thing right, soo Hi! I'm willing to write a short story about a girl who wakes up in a hospital and gradually discovers that the entire structure is under the influence ...
Mord's user avatar
  • 49
5 votes
4 answers
1k views

Best way to write chilling, short thriller/horror without getting gory in a natural setting?

What are the tricks to writing short, chilling stories that don't resort to blood or cliched monsters, in a setting in nature of hunter/hunted? EDIT: While this edit isn't meant to invalidate any of ...
FoxElemental's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
482 views

Making an existential horror work without really showing it [closed]

I have an idea for a story: My setting is reminiscent of some computer games, in that Player Characters (PCs) are essentially immortal - they reincarnate indefinitely, and can continue to kill the ...
Mephistopheles's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
414 views

How do I write about monsters in the 21st Century?

Hollywood and 20th Century Fox used to make movie monsters with organic slime and grotesque puppets, back when CGI was something unheard of that was slowly being practiced. But there were also ...
Edmund Frost's user avatar
  • 1,312
29 votes
10 answers
7k views

Mixing humour with horror in fiction

I got into trouble last year for submitting an assignment (Masters in Creative Writing) that included a story that sprinkled elements of humour (think Despicable Me) into a gritty and frankly ...
robertcday's user avatar
  • 7,743
2 votes
1 answer
146 views

I need a one-line description for a Christian horror novel I'm writing [closed]

I need a one-liner description for the book I’m writing. There are three main characters, a brother and sister and a young man. My book is a Christian horror novel. The sister must keep her surrogate ...
Tiny Bookworm 's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
495 views

How Many Tropes Are Allowed In a Short Story?

I am trying to add some dramatic ‘zombie-virus’ suspense to a short-story about boy-meets-girl young love, which already has an unlikely (but not the first sort of) antagonist The boy named Ethan is ...
Edmund Frost's user avatar
  • 1,312
5 votes
3 answers
149 views

Explain something being written out

I am working on a story where a character is witnessing something being written out but I don't know the correct way to write that. It will write out death I wrote out I witnessed something being ...
Dan's user avatar
  • 279