So it turns out my (still unnamed) character wants to have a horror story written. Before I even go any further, let me explain that I have never – and I mean ever – written horror. I wouldn’t even know where to start!
The most horror I’ve read is probably Stephen King. I’m not a great horror reader. And as for horror films – it takes me years to build up the courage to attempt to watch one.
So, I have this great character, without a name, who doesn’t fit into any story except for one that’s going to scare the hell out of me when I write it (or, if I get it right, it will) … Nothing’s ever easy.
The opening is easy enough – I mean, I’m not going to start out with something terrifying, as even a horror-newbie like me knows that you have to build tension first. But now I’m on analysis-paralysis: is it too boring? Is there enough tension? Have I given away too much? Have I not given away enough? I have edited and re-hashed the opening so many times that I’m not sure that anything of the original remains.
Which may not be a bad thing – between starting the first sentence and getting to word 1,630 (which is where I am now – too much editing has made for a very slow start), I’ve watched enough episodes of season one of American Horror Story to leave me sleepless for a month, and gathered enough horror stories to bury a suitably-scary-thing under. Therefore, I can assume that I have picked up a little of the horror mindset along the way. It would certainly explain the constant state of mild fear I now live in that I’m going to be haunted/murdered/chased by monsters, but also the conviction that in a zombie apocalypse I will be totally fine and somewhat resemble Milla Jovovich (in action, not in appearance; I’m not kidding myself).
I’ve put this question out to Twitter a few times now, and so I ask you, dear blog followers:
What scares you?
What makes a good horror story? What is your greatest fear? What do you want to read when you pick up a horror story? If I’m going to do this, I’m going to do it right. Unfortunately, my irrational fear of sharks won’t translate to a land-based storyline, so I have to get creative. And please, no clown suggestions – even I’m not brave enough to write about scary clowns.
WIP Word Count: 1,630