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
I suppose the way to tell,
At the end of the day,
If I have written good horror,
If I am making something that will scare others, Continue reading
I wasn’t sure if I had fallen back into loving horror. Then I bought a box set of Five Nights at Freddy’s Fazbear Frights (the covers remind me of classic Goosebumps—both have bold, creepy designs that don’t rely on gore). Then I binged multiple episodes of The Magnus Archives (the first episode is so good and utterly horrifying). Then discovered, all over again, how much I like Lovecraftian horror in general. Continue reading
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
This bubbling purple,
In the slime muck,
Sliding out of the swamp,
With bugs cascading around the creature’s flesh, Continue reading
Stretching to either side of the head,
Red and with a skin not affected by fire,
Standing with his claws outstretched, Continue reading
He smiled, and it was like he had sprouted daggers from his face. They slid out from his gums and overlapped with glistening white edges. His throat elongated, and down the layers was yet more pointing, growing, needle-tip blades. Continue reading
On a shelf,
Sits a book,
Twin pieces. Continue reading
His eyes were slimy things, goop dripping down upon his chin from those misty globules. He stumbled around, unable to see past the sheen of pure mucus. Continue reading
The smell awoke Kenny. He got groggily out of bed, the clock on his nightstand showing well past 3 am. His boyfriend was still asleep.
“What the fuck is she doing…” Kenny muttered. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes and quietly opened and closed the bedroom door.
The bustle became obvious then: the sound of splashing, the oven door being aggressively handled. Continue reading
Coming back to my existential genre crisis, I wanted to tell you what conclusions I’ve drawn. I wanted to mention what I came to as likely the most fitting genre for me. Continue reading
Twitching thing underneath the skin,
Drawing out the moisture,
Sucking dry, Continue reading
Let’s talk about my writing history here. I don’t mean it as a brag, not much anyway. It’s just context, and it’s interesting context.
I spent about 2 years writing like a madman. A book a month or so. Massive, massive amounts of content. I kept it going even through some pretty intense exhaustion, and I don’t regret that.
But there came a day when I was working on a book and I wasn’t exactly blocked, I was just…off. I felt tired of it, unwilling, though not unable, to write another book. The stories I already created, that only I had seen, felt like they were staring at me with menace. Like they were angry with me for letting them rot and gather dust. Continue reading
Several families, couples, even a few wayward homeless people had stayed in that house, but they all left. They all fled, basically, slowly, yes, moving being what it is—but fled just the same from this house. They noticed the hamper, and tried to remove it, and found that they couldn’t. Continue reading
I published another book!
I’m now the author of two books!
I’m excited to have another one of my stories out for the world to see. I’ve been editing it off and on for like a year now and finally got the push to finish it. I originally wrote it as a horror novel that a kid could read and enjoy, but it ended up growing into something a lot more disturbing, so now it’s maybe PG13.
If you’re interested, the entire first chapter is below along with a link to the Amazon page. I don’t usually ask this, but, if you could share it around or post it to your social media, I’d really appreciate it. Continue reading