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I figured we could use one of these. "We" meaning mostly Tasty, Yada, and I. Plus, It's Halloween, and in honor of this day, I'm linking my new story to the thread. It's an albumfic for The Black Dahlia Murder's Nocturnal.

So ITT, we discuss ways of writing horror stories and what kind of things you should do to inspire horror. Start... *looks at watch* NOW.

10/31/2010 #1

Ahhh, the genre of horror, my dark forte. I'm going to go and try to get another horror story up by midnight here, in celebration of "Ruining Fun Things By Making Them Mainstream" day, or, "Halloween" as it also is called. Yeah, I don't like Halloween all that much because I'm generally a modest, quite person who happily enjoys his guro, blood, horror, and darkfics in peace. Then this month comes along and I get bombarded by it from all sides and it doesn't mean anything to me anymore. Not. Very. Cool.

Horror is easy to get inspired for, but much more difficult to write. For me, I just watch a movie, listen to a song, read a book and think, "Wow, I want to do that!" Like what Closed Casket Requiem did to And Forever It Shall Be. It's harder to write though, much harder than writing humor. Humor is just thinking up various funny things and throwing it into one disjointed mess; at least for me. Horror requires a lot more thinking, because I have to find out what scares me before I can start writing. Anything I've written for the genre involve things that I can barely even think about happening to me. And, at least for fan stuff, it's hard to keep coming up with good, original, shocking works and keeping your sanity. I rewatched the scene of K-On! where it has a flash back of Yui as a little girl with Ui; and all I could think was, "I wrote a story where her baby sister kills her in such a brutal way." Felt like the equivalent of murder for a moment. Then I realize that I actually like corrupting cute and innocent things and move on to writing another story.

10/31/2010 #2

I know what you mean, Tastychainsaws. While I haven't felt like a murderer yet, there was that evening, seven-or-something years ago, as I and some friends gathered to watch Happy Tree Friends for the lulz. Suddenly I imagined those kind of things you see on the HTF happen to... less deserving characters. Would I still make fun of them? I suddenly wanted to cry.

I don't really believe in scaring people - maybe because I find it impossible to be scared by horror stories. Being afraid, on the other hand, is possible. If you manage to create a character that the readers feel for (easier in fan fiction, isn't it?) and then doom the character to a situation which is slowly and inevitably getting from bad to worse for them - despite or because of their actions and personality, like in the story of Oedypus - then I'll be afraid. It's bad writing when the character finds the Evil by chance. It's much better writing when said character falls into the clutches of said Evil because of the choices she/he made, consciously or not. That's why I really liked vampiric Minami in your Fallout 3 story.

What there is in horror? Somebody has to voice the cynical point of view, might as well be me. It's reading horror for forbidden sex and uncensored violence. For the corruption of the innocent characters. So you're doing it right, Tastychainsaws. How does it sit on the stomach... that's a different thing.

10/31/2010 #3

Yes the best horror for the writing medium is psychological indeed. A monstor or beast can be as scary and horrifying as it wants to be visually, but the effect isn't the same when the mind interprets for itself just how grotesque it is and is one of the few things left better for the films. However even so it cannot compare to the little details that truely makes us cringe - such as Zokusho's Ahoge. The subtle build up and reveal of just exactly what the character's intent is. Murder? That's hardly the worst when it is something they truely believe in and the death or mutilation of another's mind is but the by-product, intentional or otherwise.

It was one of the few things that actually let me enjoy Kino's Journey, when the two rivaling armies together massacred an innocent side settlement and cheerfully declared "See? It's alright, no people die in our wars."

11/2/2010 #4
Daemon McRae

I think it's much easier to write horror if the antagonist or oppressive force is more a theme or a concept/thought entity than something like a vampire or zombie. It's like, okay, a vampire's going around changing people and bleeding them dry. So what? But if you throw something out like that Cthulu-themed entry for the beach-based fanfic contest (cannot remember the author), then you've got something that worries people.

It's what I strive for in my material, more conceptual fear than some random monster or murderer. Gore is boring. Psychological mutilation is hard.

11/6/2010 #5
Solarius Scorch

Well said Daemon. That's why I like Clive Barker so much: while there are scary people and other beings in his books, the ultimate scare is something enormous and abstract that is behind, or inside them.

Most people can handle physical threats, but moral or existential ones are more menacing, because they potentially threaten the entire world as we know it and are difficult to grasp too.

11/7/2010 #6
Daemon McRae

I agree. I enjoy Clive Barker's works for much the same reason. Candyman being a big fav.

Normally, I'm just some random happy-go-lucky rper and fanfic writer, but when it comes to horror? I'm one seriously phylisophical sunnuvabeetch.

11/7/2010 #7

Daemon, you just made me sadface...

11/8/2010 #8
Daemon McRae

I have to ask, why?

11/8/2010 #9

That was my story. @_@

11/8/2010 #10
Daemon McRae

What, Candyman?

11/8/2010 #11

No, the C'thulu beach story. lol.

I like the overwhelimng force theme. I have one similar over on fictionpress, without, you know, LS characters. lol

11/8/2010 #12
Daemon McRae

Oh, sorry, Yada. I just have a horrible memory, and I didn't want to stop mid-post to double check. But it was awesome! That I remember.

And if you like the overwhelming force thing, try checking out my Nothing Man and How to Tell a Story short stories on fictionpress. (Same id)

11/8/2010 #13

I've just got an idea, maybe stupid, that every generation has it's own... how would you call it... Big Scary Movie. You know, a really well-known movie, which you have seen at the age of 6 or 8, old enough to really understand what was going on, and it scared the shit out of you. The fear never left you, but you have internalized it, made it a part of yourself, as a sort of a rite of passage, to the point you secretly adore the movie now (or pass no chance to tell everyone it sucks, depending on how did you manage the fear). Since it's a generation thing, the experience is shared by a lot of people.

For me, it was the Terminator, but it could be anything... even a movie which doesn't seem scary at all to someone who didn't experience it in this way. But those who did, have grown to love and adore scary cyborgs/alien/dinosaur/clown etc. killing machines.

Well it's really late here, so sorry if it's offtopic, but I feel a need to share the thought. Have you had a similar experience?

11/11/2010 #14

Scream and Hellraiser. While they do not scare me in the least now, when I was a naive little kid, It was bloody horrifying!

11/11/2010 #15

Alien - but also because to me it was such a good sci-fi world to see. Hated it once they tried to bring it to earth.

11/11/2010 #16

"Please continue return from the waves and make it have a happy ending I was in tears reading it and call from the waves please finish PLEASE"

That is the desperate plea of one user by the name of Flygon Master by private message. I dunno what I did right, but it worked.

On a side note, I've actually been plowing along on an original horror story that's been in my head for a while now. Once more it will have that nice little sauce of Lovecraft-knockoff, but this one I'm real into. And a good thing I think, but I thought of another story that one of the characters in the one now would star in. All I have to say to sum this up is... I love listening to Iron Maiden while taking out the trash in the morning.

4/1/2011 #17

Trash cans, Iron Maiden, and Lovecraft twists..... there's actually a lot of material right there. Go for it Yada.

And yes, do please continue Return from the Waves. But I'll also be realistic in not wanting a happy ending.

4/1/2011 #18
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