Suspense has always played a major role in dark stories. Thriller, horror and even dark fantasy often make use of suspense to emphasise the feeling of dread. Whether it is a high energy scene such as a chase or a low energy scene such as an investigation in a creepy house, suspense plays a part in telling a thrilling tale.
Here are some of my key rules for writing suspense.
It’s the haunting time of the year, where ghosts, werewolves and all manner of darker beings walk amongst the vulnerable and innocent. Evil stalks the streets, fear builds in every heart, until all are wide-eyed and paranoid. It is Spooktober, the ideal time to write any scary stories that have been lingering in the dark recesses of your mind.
Here’s how you can take your idea and turn it into a scary story worth reading!
Telling a terrifying tale presents its own set of challenges. You are charged to evoke fear of readers, who are notorious for expecting just about everything with their infernal imagination. You need to use unpredictability, believability and subversion of expectations not to make them laugh, but to make them shudder. To make a spike of a fear jolt through their spines with the story you have to tell them.
Here’s how you make them tremble like a leaf!
“Welcome to Jefferson’s Toy Store, how can I help?” the spritely woman asked behind the counter.
While my mother tried to explain that she was looking for something for me to give my friend on his birthday, I wandered through the small store looking at the many toys that lined the shelves. There was an assortment of stuffed animals in the dim store, but I was looking for something different.
I often had the strange feeling of solitude that has me wondering if I am truly alone. After all, there was nobody in sight, but if felt like there was somebody always with me. Some would attribute this to a strange sense, perhaps a loose screw or two, but I believe it meant there was actually someone there that I couldn’t quite communicate with.
Be sure to follow!