Writing Prompt: Horror

Have you ever tried to write a horror story? I’ve toyed with a few ideas in the past, but always gave up in favour of something I was more comfortable with. The funny thing is, I love horror stories. I love stories of Werewolves, Ghosts, Demons and Ghouls, but it has to be said, my absolute favourite type of horror story is reserved for the Vampire. The first horror film I ever saw was the original Bela Lugosi Dracula. I was a little girl, probably no more than five or six when something woke me a few hours into my bedtime. I wandered out into the hallway and stumbled upon my Mom and Dad watching a black and white film. It wasn’t the film itself that scared me, but the idea of something evil creeping into your house, through the window and hypnotizing you, making you go to it and offer up your blood. Over the years, I’ve seen dozens of vampire films and have loved the folklore and different possibilities that come from the legends.

So, I’m going to have a crack at it again.

Try this – seeing how it was Halloween this weekend, have a crack at writing an outline for a horror story. Any type at all you fancy. Me, I’m going for one with teeth..happy writing.

Writing Prompt: Horror

Writing Prompt: Magical Creatures

Although it is not the genre I usually gravitate towards, I’ve always been a fan of fantasy. Whether it’s the horror of Dracula or the adventures of Frodo Baggins, I have a place in my heart for things and characters created from our imaginations that break all the rules of what we accept as reality.

I like the ideas of witches and werewolves, of unicorns and fawns. I wonder what it is about these things that fascinate us as rational human beings.

Have a bit of fun with this one.

Here is the scene: There is a clearing in the woods on the night of an October full moon. There is a campfire raging into the night sky and drawn by the light, four creatures approach from different directions and meet at the fire.  There is caution and tension when they all clap eyes on each other. They are: a vampire, a unicorn, a troll and a witch.

What where they each doing there and what happens for one night when they all meet?

Have fun.

Writing Prompt: Magical Creatures

Writing Prompt: Dead by Dawn

When I emerged from the Filmhouse at 3am, I was a twitching little wreck. Three nights and days of horror films had exposed me to the sick and twisted possibilities of the human mind and I was left fascinated by what I had seen. Eye-puncturing acts with a paper clip, a child decapitated by a witch in a cabin, people turning on each other with knives and handguns in a disaster-scenario, transvestite narcissists stomping on puppies in pillowcases and 53 school girls in Tokyo joining hands and jumping in front of a train in unison. That was the mild stuff.

What got me thinking was that someone had to sit there, think this stuff up and commit it to film. So, here’s a rather macabre prompt. Look around the room. Pick three common objects and devise a scene that would feel comfortable in a horror film. Stay away from the usual stuff, knives, potato peelers, (anything obviously sharp, otherwise it’s cheating) and write to the limits of your twisted little mind.

Enjoy and let the nightmares begin (mine haven’t stopped. Can’t wait until next year!)

Writing Prompt: Dead By Dawn


Writing Prompt: Random Acts of Violence

“I sent my soul through the invisible, some letter of that afterlife to spell; and by and by my soul returned to me and answered, “I myself am Heav’n and Hell””

~ Omar Khayyam 

There have been times, particularly when I’ve been hurt or angry that I have entertained truly violent thoughts. My reason kicks in and although my mind is capable of imagining these things I know I could never carry them out. My upbringing and social values do not allow me to take the critical step towards the uncivilised. They pass, I dismiss them and I’m a normal, rational human being again.

What would happen if someone where to remove that filter between the imagined and reality? What if the veil slipped and a “normal” person did the unthinkable? Create a mundane, average personality and life for one of your characters and have them perform a seemingly random act of violence. Then, go back. What was the trigger and what are the consequences?

Writing Prompt: Random Acts of Violence

Writing Prompt: Ghosts, Ghouls, Goblins and Gremlins part 1

Fantasy and Science fiction writing can be difficult. You need to create an alternate reality whilst ensuring that scene, characters and plot remain convincing enough to engage the reader. I’ve loved horror and science fiction stories most of my life (this stretches into the realm of film as well) and have tried to write horror on occasion. However, the tricky part is writing something original. There have been so many stories or vampires, werewolves, alien worlds and lands of elves and strange creatures, that it is hard to develop a new concept and keep it interesting. However, that’s not to say that it is not worth the effort. By remembering that anything is possible in writing, we’re free to explore and push the envelope of creativity.

Try this, write a short and simple premise for a horror, fantasy or sci fi story. Build the frame and outline the characters and situation. Draft a world in which they live and keep it loose. Go back in a few days and re-read what you’re written. Are you interested in finding out more about this world? If so, begin fleshing out a protagonist and their conflict.

Have fun and remember that no story is too out there.

Writing Prompt: Ghosts, Ghouls, Goblins and Gremlins part 1

Writing Prompt: What was that?

It’s 3am, the house is dark and all of the shadows in the room have stretched themselves into irregular shapes of something frightening. Even the garment bag hanging on the hook on the back of my bedroom door has morphed into something sinister. I curled up in the middle of the bed with my cat and held my breath. Every sound in the house is amplified and suddenly, I’m careful to make sure that none of my limbs, nor those of my disinterested cat are hanging over the edge.

 These should be the thoughts of a young person, not of a grown woman, but insomnia coupled with being alone in the house on a windy night has brought out the worst of my imagination and I suddenly wish I still had flatmates to either explain away the noise or join me in a cup of cocoa in the living-room.

 Today’s Prompt: What was that?

Put yourself in a big empty house, add a few scary noises, go investigate and see what you find lurking in the corner.

It’s only 175 pages, does that count?

I know I said I was going to stick to my reading list and only use alternates when I came across something that was boring, but a friend gave me a copy of “How to Survive a Horror Movie” by Seth Grahme-Smith and I couldn’t resist. The premise of the book is a breakdown of every kind of horror movie scenario and what one needs to do to ensure they’re one of the ones to survive for the inevitable sequel.

It covers everything from alien invasion, vampire attacks, zombies, slashers, possessed dogs, a-typically killer dogs (and sharks and birds and cats) as well as your sinister cornfields and haunted houses. This is essential reading for anyone who loves a good fright at the box office (and I’m not talking about the Spice Girls Movie).

So, my question is, having wandered from my book list, just  teeny tiny bit, does this count as an alternate or since it’s camp and a bit of a giggle, can I slide it under the radar?

Today’s Prompt: Write the last scene in a horror film with you as the main character. 500 words or less. Any genre and any outcome will do, Have fun, the more outrageous the better!

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