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: The Listening Orb

It did nothing but listen. Sitting there, glowing with a faint level of power, it listened to mankind. Throughout all recorded time, it stood as a stalwart ear for the world’s secrets. It pondered and gleamed what humankind did not know even about itself. Continue reading

Flash Fiction: Nighttime Headlights

He was closer at the time. That, I think, was the only reason I survived, and Herb didn’t. Like a hungry animal, the trick is simply to be the second slowest. Though what was chasing us was not an animal—I’m not sure what it was.

What we could see of it for certain was a light. We were out walking our city at night, a bit drunk, a little exhausted from all the dancing, but mostly calm, chipper, and riding that buzz of a good party, when a light came from behind us. Two of them, shining with a slight orange tint. Continue reading

Writing Is Simpler Than That

Storytelling is simpler than we let it be. What we consider cliché, what we consider trite or overdone, will work if it’s good storytelling. It’s the reason that superhero stories can have the same plot across the board but still succeed.

What is a structure, if not a template? What is a bacon cheeseburger, if not the same ingredients each time? Continue reading

That Hustling Music

Lately, I’ve noticed a genre of music I enjoy—but cannot place what it is called. The tracks don’t seem to exist under a unified style, but all have one thing in common: they are about hustling.

And by hustling, I mean working a lot for money. Songs that seem tailored to the ideals of the entrepreneur. Continue reading