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Don't be afraid to write about terror

Photo. Eter Digital | (c)

Terror is a fascinating literary element. I know people who love the feeling of fear/suspense and they seek something that keeps them attached to the screen while they tremble at the horror that causes that T series or movie. But we are talking about multimedia, which precisely takes advantage of what we watch and listen to put terror in our senses. But how about reading? Authors can only use WORDS. That's when a good narration needs to take place. Take the reader by the hand and make him walk along a dark path only with the use of words is admirable and we have many references that have created entire universes where terror is everything. That being the case, what does a horror story need to be memorable and cause real panic? Well, we can do a review:


It is not the same to walk through the city center at noon than to do it in the middle of a cemetery at about three in the morning. The stage is one more character in the plot. The simple mention of certain location such as hospital, convent, abandoned hacienda, ruined building or the one already mentioned cemetery, immediately invokes in the reader an idea of ​​what can happen.

A ghost in a newly opened hotel is unconvincing, while a mansion built in the fifties could be more convincing. It may sound cliché, but gloomy and dark scenarios, abandoned locations or in ruins, have their own charm and do a good part of the job.


Let's leave the stoic characters for action stories, the characters in the stories of terror must be credible and that is achieved through complex and deep personalities. No one would like to face the appearance of a headless being that appears at night walking through the halls of the hotel where you just started working, nobody, ever.

No one will go to the nose to get into trouble, with an evil spirit. Unless you have some ghostbuster complex or similar. Fearing, moving away from the matter and only meddling when there is no other option is something you would do any of us. It's not a matter of creating funky characters, but at least cautious, aware of their human condition, morally ambiguous, with doubts and skepticism. These complex characters fit very well with psychological terror.


What would the heroes be without a good villain?

It happens that many times I let myself be seduced by the bad guy. In terror, depending on the sub-genre where you are, the specter, the demon that wants to torment the protagonist, the charismatic psycho who wants to kill them all, the corrupt policeman who you want to perform a human hunt just for fun ... A whole story can be an stand-alone with the ideas of his villain and the machinations of his disturbed mind.

Everyone remembers Pennywise from "IT", Dracula from Bram Stoker or Cthulhu from H.P. Lovecraft.


The best advice for anyone who wants to write.

It is not the same to say: "I was scared", to show it: His face became pale. His heart was beating so fast and with such force that he could feel it in the throat, which caused him some disgust. His legs were shaking and he clenched his fists hard, all this while hiding in a closet.

It is not the same to say: "I was bleeding", to show it: The bleeding was not long in coming, the wound was so deep that it would bleed to death in brief. The cold took hold of his body, dizziness and fatigue also made an act of presence. The character's condition is clear, since a "bleeding" does not answer other questions that could describe what happened.


Keep trying. Only by practicing all this, you can make your story have the elements that. They will make it a great horror story. You will not write a masterpiece without trying many times. I hope these tips are useful, I write them from what I myself have experienced, and with all the good intentions of the world.

Text by:

Baltazar Ruiz


Oct. 10, 2019, 12:01 a.m. 0 Report Embed 5

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