What makes a Story Scary
Writers use unique words for scary stories.
Horrifying is more interesting than scary.
A pungent smell is more meaningful than stinky
Using interesting vocabulary will: Set the mood Evoke the five senses Heighten Suspense Show Fear
Every scary story also has a main character scared out of his or her wits !
Setting in a castle An atmosphere of mystery and suspense An ancient prophesy Omens, portents, visions Supernatural or otherwise inesplicable events High, overwrought emotion Women in distress Women threatened by a tyrannical male The metonymy of gloom and horror The vocabulary of the gothic
Tone and Mood
Loving Threatening Annoyed Fearful Terrified Annoyed Frustrated Horrified Irritated
"A picture is worth a thousand words"
Scary Scary Scary Scary
Atmosphere For a Scary Story
I can see this setting in a gothic story - a dark night, full moon, nightime mist gliding on the ground and around the castle, a glow of a lone ghostly light in the castle and tombstones neglected over time. Tree branches look ike arms reay to grab the poor soul who wanders where they are not welcomed.
Mistress of Melancholy
Atmosphere of a Scary Story
The Final Guest
This is a frightening picture. It has the stereotypical dark night, full moon anda castle with a lone light . the guest is apprehensive about where they are going considering they are in a gondola steered by a facelessrobed figure. The clouds are dark and the light in the castle indicatesthat someone is waiting for his arrival but for what purpose he does not know, but the atmosphere is not welcoming
Atmosphere of a Scary Story
The setting is startling with the ghostly bride floating down an overgrown path toward an abandoned, decriped church. A neglected cemetery on both sides of the path has death written all over the scene. The full moon is clouded over, leaving a sense of dread as the forest tries to close in on the church as if it never existed.
Elements of Suspense
Put Characters Readers Care About in Jeopardy
(empathy, danger, tension)
Include More Promises and Less Action
promise something dreadful and its arrival
Keep Every Promise You Make
promise something dreadful and make it happen
Let Characters Tell Readers Their Plans
characters tell readers their schedules which creates suspense
Cut Down on the Violence
too many murders bore the readers
Be One Step Ahead of The readers
keep the suspense
Elements of Horror Screenwriting
"best to leave as much to the readers imagination as possible"
lots of suspense
believable characters and setting
good pace of action
adequate amunt of violence
description enough to allow use of imagination
by Edgar Allan Poe
Empathy with Character
- weak and dreary
- suddenly there came a tapping
- sorrow for the lost Lenorre
- wrought its ghost upon the floor
-my sould grew stronger
- darkness there and nothing more
-I stood there wondering, fearing
-the whispered work "Lenore"
-all my sould within me burning
-beguiling my sad fancy to smiling
-ghastly frim and ancient raven
-ominous bird meant in croaking "Nevermore"
-This I sat engaged in guessing
-"prophet" said I, "thing of evil"
-clasp a rare and radiant maiden
-leave my lonliness unbroken
-eyes of a demon's that is dreaming
-and my soul.......shall be lifted - nevermore