Tag: #storyplanning

The horror of writing a horror.


So far, this is the only picture I could find to encapsulate my feelings towards trying to write a horror story that will strike genuine fear into the hearts of those who read it.


It’s a combination of utter annoyance of not being able to construct a story like I have done previously and the ideas I’ve had that have ranged from ‘might be scary’ to ‘that’s from a film come up with something else’ that’s sending me face palm and wide-eyed.

I have got an idea that I’m going to stick with but the process has not been an easy one. I’m riddled with doubt that I won’t be able to scare anyone just with my words. And scare them in a good way, ‘eyes wide, tension built up, possibly screaming, knife in hand ready to defend themselves’, and not in a bad way ‘What is this smeg I’m reading? Why would John do this to me?! What did I ever do to him?’

The idea is based around a group of office workers on a work retreat/drunken weekend in a cabin in the woods. The cabin is state of the art and is more like a mini mansion in the middle of nowhere with plenty of Wi-Fi. No spooky or creepy looking cabin for this lot. The company my characters work for makes money. The forest surrounding the cabin has its own story about a witch that died and haunts the caves that lie deep within the forests depths.

Not amazingly original but it is my first try. And I believe that if a horror story is to be truly scary it should not be just down to how original the premise is but how it is written and how it can scare the reader.

I want to give my first attempt at horror writing the best chance it has so I’m going to try and plan each part of the story down to the last detail. I have found that building the tension within the story is a good start. But how do I accomplish this? My first thoughts were to plant many different seeds into the reader’s mind so they are unsure who the killer is. I’m pretty sure there’s going to be a killer at this point. Probably. Maybe plant some red herrings to hopefully put them off the scent.

I still don’t have a concrete ending so I’m going to focus on getting that set in stone before I begin writing as well. This has all sent me into a bit of a writing tailspin. I haven’t had one of these in years.

So, all this has led me to this question.What tips do you have for someone trying to write their first horror story?

Your hints and tips and thoughts would be appreciated.