Let’s compare two scenes. I will not use any additional language trickery to make one better than the other. I don’t want to taint the results. The goal’s simply to show which is more frightening, so you can better construct a horror scene.Continue reading
Author Archives: coolerbs
Poem: The Old Sword
Hung there after fights,
Against horrible beasts,Continue reading
Never Stop Learning As A Writer
I’ve been a professional writer for a while now. It’s been long enough that I would need to do serious mental calculations to work out the exact time. But, even and especially as you get deeper into this, there’s no reason to ever stop learning new writing techniques.Continue reading
Poem: Against The Endless Things
If we could see the full brunt of the universe,
If we could comprehend the endlessness of it,
Would you be willing to fight against it? Continue reading
Poem: Asking for The Bones In Your Flesh
How much do you value your bones?
He asked it,
And now I think hard,
If I want to have my bones, Continue reading
Microfiction: The Vending Machine That Has A Lot of Cans In It
George picked up a can when he felt the soft static in the air. The key was under one of these; he was certain he’d find it. It had only been an hour since the last time he’d needed it—surely even he wouldn’t misplace it so easily.
But each can would invariably come up short. It wasn’t underneath the soda can. It wasn’t beneath the can of bug spray. It wasn’t here; it wasn’t there.
In frustration, he cast out his hand—scattering the metal everywhere. The sound was deafening, those cheap materials crashing against the wooden table. Continue reading
A Trick for First Person Horror
In my continuing studies of the horror genre, I noticed a method of creating scares for a first-person perspective. And that’s cool because I considered it a harder way of doing horror in certain cases. And, outside of what I’m about to say, that’s for one reason: you can’t kill your narrator. If you do, the story ends.
So, if you’re staying inside the head of a single character, you can only show scary things—you can’t have it get them.
The workaround for this is “The Victim.” Continue reading
“The Sin” In Horror
This is not a universal rule, and I’ve seen exceptions to it—but I’ve been noticing a pattern in a lot of horror media. And it has to do with rules and taboos. Now, there’s the whole thing in classic slashers where a character does something (usually sexual) and then is murdered for it—but I mean something else. I mean something not full of outdated stereotypes and implications. Continue reading
Poem: Chinese Food
So, here’s the sucky thing,
I should not have wheat or dairy.
Body doesn’t like it.
It’s been a thing my whole life— Continue reading
Poem: The Beaming Sunlight and Awful Humidity
Have you been outside lately in Florida?
The air wants to kill you.
It’s been so humid that it’s hard to recognize when you’re sweating, Continue reading
How To Scare Someone In Four Steps
I’ve written a zonking amount of horror short stories on this site. And, though I’m by no means an extreme expert on the subject, I have worked out four steps I find most horror stories fall into and obey. You could call it the “Horror Story Structure.” It’s a rough, overarching template that allows a framework when constructing scares.
Now, this is better applied to short stories. The nature of horror in long-form, the stretched version, must allow an ebb and a flow to the proceedings. If not, you risk simply burning away the reader in a fury of violent imagery. But, if applied sensibly, and dolloped over a more character-focused progression, this can work for anything horror-related you would care to make.
So, here we go. Four steps in sequence. I call it the “EITT” method. Use it and terrify. Continue reading
Microfiction: The Curious Interview
During the job interview, it became apparent that the applicant sitting across from Stephen was melting. Something black and syrupy was leaking from the corner of his eye and was dribbling down his chin.
It took a moment of composure, but Stephen had been interviewing people for the past ten hours and momentum got him to the next inquiry.
“So, do you have anything you’d like to ask me?” Continue reading
Microfiction: Piles of Papers
The soft smell of dust was the only thing he could perceive for a solid minute. Then, with a great rustle, he rose. His feet were sore from disuse, as was his back.
“What is… I was working on something, yeah?” Continue reading
Microfiction: A Lot Of Screens
They hadn’t seen him in a few weeks. Someone mentioned him at a dinner party, and it led to them visiting his house the next day. His butler let them in when they asked what had happened. Continue reading
Poem: Sure of Its Purpose
The sound is a whisper,
On the air,
Along with the creeping essence,
Of the coldness of hands,
That grace the hallways, Continue reading