How To Effectively Write Horror?

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How To Effectively Write Horror?

#1 Post by Ionait » Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:07 pm

Hi everyone!

I have decided to try to make my daughter and my husband RenPy games for Christmas. Of course, this topic pertains to the gift I want to make for my husband. He loves horror stories, especially the short but effective stories found on the Creepy Pasta website. He doesn't actually like playing horror games as much, just loves reading the horror genre. He's a fan of Stephen King and Clive Cussler (not a horror novelist I know.) He's not a fan of gore, at least when it's for no reason. He also adores Japanese horror films and often perceives them to be much more suspenseful and scary than American horror.

So... I want to make a horror RenPy game that is as engrossing as a novel!

But I have never written horror before. The last time I tried for a library short story contest, I came up with a more Battle Royal-esque story than something scary.

Also worth noting, I am a big wuss! My imagination is always running and I am a visual thinker, which often causes me to scare myself over nothing or while reading those stories. xD

So.. Wow, I rambled and added a lot of random info. But the point of the post really is how to effectively write horror! How to trick the reader's imagination and put it into high gear!

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Re: How To Effectively Write Horror?

#2 Post by MaiMai » Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:35 pm

I think you'll need to immerse yourself with some reference material, whether it's books, movies, or horror video games (probably books if you claim to be a big wuss and it would help more with your writing.)

A horror book I personally recommend is Curse of the Wendigo by Rick Yancey.
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Re: How To Effectively Write Horror?

#3 Post by dogmirian » Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:18 pm

sounds like an interesting problem, and i would like to see some other ideas for how to get around it or how other people write horror.
Also if you are looking for some short stories, here is a website that has all of H.P. Lovecrafts short stories and novels, enjoy :mrgreen: ... index.html

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Re: How To Effectively Write Horror?

#4 Post by OokamiKasumi » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:12 pm

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Re: How To Effectively Write Horror?

#5 Post by Joey » Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:30 am

I think when it comes to horror writing, less is more -- it's not about what you show but what you don't show. Atmosphere is everything, and the best thing about visual novels is that you can accentuate that atmosphere in your writing with creepy music and sound effects. :>
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Re: How To Effectively Write Horror?

#6 Post by MarineScripter » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:50 am

Horror is quite a hard genre to do effectively well. Yes, it is easy to slip into the battle royale genre, as finding more original topics can be hard. I've played a fair share of horror games, most of them point-and-click. To suggest an easy one, that'd be Shiver: the Vanishing Hitchhiker. Stephen King is a great example. The key is not to dull out the suspense with too much detail--a great part of horror is that the reader can picture it in their own mind. As this is a visual novel, your pictures will have to make up just well for what needs to be shown, and a soundtrack will also have to chosen carefully. For the visual aspects, perhaps reading some horror manga or something could help. An simple one to recommend as a start would be Kiben Gakuha Yotsuya-senpai no Kaidan, as it deals in a few short, simple horror stories.
Good luck!

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Re: How To Effectively Write Horror?

#7 Post by Taleweaver » Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:20 am

Already discussed here.
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