Want to be the next R. L. Stine? A horror story legend? Then you need a killer story idea to start with! But coming up with a scary tale is harder than you think. There are so many stories out there about ghosts, zombies, werewolves and vampires. How do you make your horror story original? And most importantly, how can you scare the pants of your readers with just words? Research is the key! We suggest you read plenty of scary books if you’re not afraid of course. And take note of what makes these stories so scary. I personally love reading the Goosebumps collection. If this alone does not inspire you, then take a look at these 25+ Halloween image prompts. To help you out there are a couple of key things that make a horror story extra scary:
- A super spooky setting
- An evil character with surprising secrets
- Knowing and focusing on your reader’s fears
- Build suspense with descriptive words (but not too much)
Now you know some of the key elements of a good horror story, it’s time to find a terrifying idea! We have collected over 25 images to help you write your first horror story. Take a look at our post on how to use image prompts to write stories for more help.
25+ Halloween Image Prompts
5 Tips for Writing Horror Stories
Now that you’re feeling inspired, it’s time to learn about the key ingredients to a really spooky horror story. Here are our 5 tips for writing horror stories:
- Choose a super scary villain:
What makes a character scary? A number of things can actually make them scary beyond the way they look. You might look into their back story, such as what happened to them when they were younger. Or maybe they had the perfect life growing up, but are just seeking revenge?
- Choose your setting very carefully:
Not all horror stories need a dark, gloomy setting – You’ll never know what you’ll find in the sunny suburbs of a nice little neighbourhood! Either way it’s really the words you use to describe your setting that make’s it scary. For example a neighbourhood might look nice, but there might be a creepy looking house next door.
- Know what your audience is most scared off:
Fear is the scariest thing! What kind of things give you nightmares? Is it spiders, dark rooms or monsters under the bed? Think about what your readers are most scared of and then times this by 10 on the fear scale.
- Build suspense, through twists and turns:
How boring is a story which stays the same the whole way through! No shocking news and no surprises make a really bad horror story! So, make sure to include a nice amount of surprises for your readers to enjoy. But be careful too many twists in your story can put some readers off.
- Think about the starting carefully:
The opening of your horror story is very important. Just like with any other story, the opening will hook your readers and if it is any good it will keep your readers hooked until the end. That being said, make sure your ending is just as good as your opening – You don’t want to disappoint your readers when they finish reading.
Want to write your very own horror story? Join our online community, where you can publish your very story for free and share it with other members for feedback!