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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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 ...
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1 vote
2 answers
112 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 ...
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2 answers
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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 ...
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1 vote
2 answers
109 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 ...
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2 votes
5 answers
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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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
97 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 ...
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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 ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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1 vote
2 answers
169 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 ...
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4 votes
4 answers
171 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, ...
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3 votes
4 answers
280 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 ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
287 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 ...
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1 vote
2 answers
185 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 ...
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3 answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2 votes
7 answers
529 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 ...
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2 votes
2 answers
134 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 ...
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1 vote
3 answers
154 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 ...
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0 votes
1 answer
255 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 ...
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3 votes
2 answers
229 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 ...
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12 votes
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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 ...
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3 votes
2 answers
957 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 ...
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12 votes
1 answer
966 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,...
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22 votes
8 answers
20k 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 ...
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38 votes
10 answers
10k 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'...
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1 vote
3 answers
384 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 ...
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5 votes
3 answers
2k 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 ...
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4 votes
5 answers
1k 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 ...
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5 votes
4 answers
922 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 ...
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0 votes
1 answer
424 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 ...
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5 votes
2 answers
370 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 ...
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29 votes
10 answers
6k 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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
144 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 ...
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3 votes
3 answers
468 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 ...
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5 votes
3 answers
129 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 ...
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7 votes
6 answers
3k views

Am I describing a zombie?

I introduced a young person (called Raven) who the main character was friends with in my story; Raven is an excellent student who the main character is also teaching music to. The story is the result ...
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4 votes
6 answers
685 views

How to make the murder's identity less obvious, or make the obviousness not matter?

I'm writing a short story following the first person perspective of the MC, who is a young, male writer of horror stories. He goes on a cruise with his girlfriend and their friends, and, ...
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1 vote
6 answers
3k views

I'm not sure where to start with writing a horror story

I haven't written anything horror, but I have had scenes in my past stories that my friends have stated was 'creepy,' so I've decided I wanted to attempt to write something scary. I tend to lean into ...
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4 votes
5 answers
2k views

How can you deal with the darker themes of a grimdark setting without being edgy?

Many grimdark settings focus on the darker aspects of human nature (war, murder, rape, etc). Some portray this to be edgy in order to paint the world as dark or mature without reason. An example would ...
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4 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is mixing cultures for the setting of a fantasy story frowned upon?

I am writing a fantasy/steampunk/horror novel, and I'm wondering if mixing different cultures is frowned upon. Specifically, my novel's setting is a mix of Italy, Ancient Rome, and Transalvania/...
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0 votes
3 answers
190 views

Advice on writing horror? [closed]

Can you guys give a novice writer some advice on how to write good, frightening horror? I'm think more short story than novel, but anything that can give readers the creeps. I want to avoid being ...
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26 votes
8 answers
12k views

How can I Avoid Being Frightened by the Horror Story I am Writing?

Yes, I have to admit it. I don't like horror movies because (shocker) I find them scary. Unlike other people in my house, I do not like being scared. Especially right before I go to bed. I dislike ...
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1 vote
4 answers
4k views

How do i describe a vampire from the perspective of someone who has no idea what they are?

The concept of my story is that i would rewrite the story of the first ever vampire in a medieval setting, and from two perspectives, one from the vampire's friend and brothers in arms, and the other ...
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1 vote
3 answers
5k views

What is the best way to set a dark tone to a story?

I want to write a short horror story. What are the best ways to set a dark tone or mood to the story? Just in a short introduction, if I want to introduce a character or place as a place I would not ...
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2 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to make horror events more interesting in daytime

In a book I'm writing at the moment I have created a world with a day and night cycle. I have created a veil of mystery over this madman and this machine he's made, however, every event to do with the ...
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2 votes
5 answers
2k views

How to write about disgusting subjects?

Context : I'm starting a story with supernatural creatures and trying to make it both gory and funny. Some creatures I use are really gross. For example, one of my characters is an akaname, a ...
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4 votes
4 answers
2k views

Horror story for a game - how to create dread?

I am trying to devise a short story for a 3d horror game. Here are my requirements: There must be no tangible people/creatures for the player to interact with (the player can be any sort of living ...
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0 votes
1 answer
73 views

What stylometric pecularities are considered to be typical for stephen kings writing? [closed]

I never read a book written by Stephen King, but i heard on many occasions about his style of writing being very unique with regard to his stylometric featurs. Could you bring some examples for this ...
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8 votes
6 answers
2k views

How to write realistic injury scenes?

I'm currently writing an apocalypse themed story. As with the territory, death and/or injuries happen. I'm wondering how other writers write these scenes realistically as far as science, medicine, ...
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