Writing a scary story plot is no easy feat. It needs practice and a good command over your craft to write something that can send chills down your readers’ spines. But like any story, writing horror books follow a basic pattern of developing an outline, setting the environment and creating characters. We have listed some basics of writing a scary story plot and have laid out the anatomy of a horror story. So let’s dive into writing your best horror novel.
Setup an Environment
First things first, you have to set up an environment for your readers. In a movie, it is easy to frighten the viewers with the help of visuals and background music, but in writing, you will need to explain the environment in such a way that it creates a feeling of fear. Write about an empty house with unusual sounds coming from a room, the main character getting trapped in an empty elevator or visiting a new town in a forest where everyone looks peculiar.
Tap into Your Own Fears
One useful tip when writing horror books is to first write down your fears and then use them in the story plot. You can better explain your fears and can write about them at length. Don’t try to frighten your readers with something you are not afraid of because then you won’t be able to properly explain it.
Use Fear of Unknown
One of the frequently used tricks to writing successful horror books is to instil the fear of the unknown in your readers. We, humans, are designed in a way that we are afraid of the things that are out of our control. So by adding an element of unknown fears, you can craft out an engaging horror storyline for your readers.
Add A Horrifying Element to an Ordinary Moment
As every story you write should be close to reality to make it more believable. The same goes for a scary story plot. It is more frightening when you add an element of horror to an everyday situation. The main characters go out for a walk but loses their way and end up in front of an abandoned old house with their names written on the house walls or door. Or a young mother is alone in her house but she hears unusual sounds coming from their old storage room. Take such everyday scenarios that people can relate to, and then add an element of horror in it.
Show – Don’t Tell Your Story
We have already discussed how in writing horror books you have to create an environment for the readers to go through a certain emotion you want them to feel. A good story shows the readers where to go, without telling them. Avoid over-explaining a scene. Let the readers connect to your story and picture the scene in their minds.
Don’t Go Overboard with Gore and Violence
Avoid using excessive violence and giving gory details. It can become distasteful after a certain time. If you keep giving the same details about a violent act in a story, your readers will feel bored and lose interest. Instead, add these details in a place where they will impact your readers.
Read How Popular Horror Stories Are Written
It is always wise to keep a check on the kind of stuff that is trending in the readers’ community.
Read about the popular books and novels available in the market so you get an idea of how the stories are written and what makes them popular among the masses. We have selected our 3 popular horror books to help you get an idea of the stories that are readers’ favourite these days.
This is a story of a young girl Erika Darlington. She starts noticing that a guy lives in her room, who is only visible to her and no one else can see him. She feels unsafe in his absence and is comforted by his presence. All is going well until he starts talking to her. To read more of this bone-chilling horror book, buy it here.
The story of losing loved ones, Heptagram follows Ghassan’s journey who is in trouble after Yassine goes missing in the early hours of a holiday. A story full of surprises and a soul finding journey, this is undoubtedly one of the best horror books. You can get a copy of it here.
When the world gets sick and tired of the evils of society, they start making pleas and prayers, and then a miracle happens. Suddenly, the media stops broadcasting its usual high rating news about war, its atrocities and destruction. Entertainment has also become free of all immoral programs. They are more focused on rebuilding the spiritual and moral supremacy of man and establishing peace and justice throughout the world. To read this book, buy it here.
End You Story with a Twist
Just as the beginning of a story needs to be impressive and engaging, the end also needs to be a memorable one. Try adding an unexpected twist to the end of the story such as a character who was helping the protagonist to get out of trouble was the villain’s friend who was trying to mislead the protagonist. Or make the love interest of the hero turn out to be a member of some cult. Adding an unexpected twist to the story will leave a memorable impact on the readers.
So, get down to writing a horror story by using these tips and tricks. Let your imagination lead you to craft an engaging story and soon you will have written a spine-chilling horror storyline.