How To Write A Creative Story

Fears that have some sort of logical or biological foundation are often the most potent in horror.Darkness, heights, snakes, and spiders — all these are extremely common phobias rooted in instinct.And the first step is learning how to write a horror story.

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Clearly establish the main problem or motivation for your character(s), and what they have to lose if they don’t figure it out.

These stakes and motivations might involve: Survival.

For instance, you might have a character trying to solve some mysterious murders that happened years ago, only to find out that they’re the next target!

The main thing to remember when it comes to horror — especially horror stories — is that straightforward stakes tend to have the greatest impact.

Another great means of scaring people is to tap into societal tensions and concerns — a tactic especially prevalent in horror movies.

Just in recent memory, It’s also possible to combine subgenres, especially as your story progress.

Perhaps their objective isn't just to stay alive, but to defeat their murderous nemesis while doing it — whether that’s another person, an evil spirit, or even themselves, if it’s a Jekyll and Hyde-type scenario. The more people the protagonist has to keep safe, the higher the stakes.

Many horrific tales peak with a threat of death not to the main character, but to one or several of their loved ones (as in ). Because some horror stories aren’t about escaping peril in the present, but rather about uncovering the terrors of the past.

“If you manage to creep yourself out with your own writing, it's usually a pretty good sign that you're onto something,” editor Harrison Demchick says.

In order for readers to truly thrill at your horror story, you need to make them aware of the stakes.


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