1. Masked Mole
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    Masked Mole Contributing Member

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    How Often Do you Use Horror?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Masked Mole, May 15, 2015.

    How often do you horror or scary aspects in your plot twists? Are you a horror genre writer, or someone who uses terror often? Feel free to share your best usage of chilling material.
    I personally use it fairly rarely. I guess I mainly prefer to use "weird" plot devices rather than pure horror. I have the utmost respect for authors that use it effectively yet avoid the cheap feeling that can come with it. Those writers are fascinating to me.
     
  2. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Not ever.
     
  3. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    I try to keep my stuff realistic, I'm not into scary stories at all, and I really don't like unnecessary violence or death - so genre "horror" elements are not something I use.

    That said, precisely BECAUSE I'm so appalled by senseless violence, the few times I do use it can be pretty ugly - for emotional effect. For instance I had one character who was an eyewitness to the murder of a rapper. I had her sitting right next to him when it happened, and then talked about the pink globs of splattered flesh dripping down the wall (although I'm probably going to have to cut that because everyone who reads that scene thinks it's gross and overly graphic). For me it's not trying to scare people so much as I'm trying to get across how sick and wrong the whole situation is by not idealizing or whitewashing it. Violence without need is always bad, so I show it as bad.
     
  4. ZabetTheRabbit
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    ZabetTheRabbit New Member

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    Sometimes. It depends on the story, I suppose. Usually when I do it though it's not physical or gory, but more mental and emotional. I use it when I want to build up that sense of dread and suspense, and to clue people in that all is right in the world. Like anything, if it's done right it can be great.
     
  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Depends I have a noir-ish story and the villain has done some pretty horrible things but I don't exploit the scenes with a lot of graphic detail. I try to let the bareness of the action speak for itself.
    And when I do write horror I like psychological horror best. What's going on in someone's mind.

    I'm not interested in writing gruesome violence. It's like any kind of violence too much and it loses it's impact.
     
  6. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Quite often, but not in the splatter sense. In the current WIP, it's really about the horror of being alone in space and something seemingly unexplainable "haunting" the MC. But since it's sci-fi, obviously there aren't any ghosts or revenants or vampies. I really, really like psychological horror, although unfortunately I have a super high horror tolerance. I can't remember if anything has truly disturbed me in the past ten years or so. I enjoyed Sarah Waters' The Little Stranger, which is essentially a poltergeist horror story, but it didn't scare me.

    I was slightly creeped out by a Japanese video of this pale chick standing at the metro station, by the rails.All of a sudden she threw herself under the cart that zoomed by. She was nowhere to be seen afterwards. I suppose it was some girl who got dragged along the rails, but either way, it was kinda creepy how it looked liked she actually disappeared into thin air.
     
  7. m.j.kane
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    m.j.kane Member

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    I always try to restrain myself. I see it as blowing air into a balloon. If you're trying to scare someone, you just don't huff air into it until it pops. You draw it out slowly. You exhale short little spurts, watching the balloon grow and the material stretch until the anticipation becomes agony. You know the balloon is on the verge, but your breaths become softer, you're testing the resolve right until the end.

    That's the way I like to view writing horror. You're not trying to rush to the payoff or see what you can fill the spaces in between the pay off. You're filling it with so much damn tension until it gets to the point you have no other choice but to make it go pop.

    What I find intolerable is tension.
     
  8. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Horrific things can happen in my novels, but I rarely use horror. On the other hand my latest WIP is a haunted house story so there is both psychological and physical fear and horror involved.
     
  9. rainer_
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    rainer_ New Member

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    Horror is my genre of choice, but horror literature is bastardised by other forms of horror. Example being; I can't stand excessive violence, or blood for the sake of blood. It does nothing for me. Plus I personally don't think horrific acts of violence translate as well to the page as they do to film or TV. However, horror can shine in book form when the author knows how to involve the reader in the atmosphere of a empty crime scene or in an abandoned cemetery or wherever.

    The other thing which mistakenly gets labelled as horror is when the author tries to gross you out. I can't stand that (see: some of Chuck Palahniuk's stuff, or American Psycho). It feels like a cheap way to get a reaction.
     
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  10. Azhurel
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    Azhurel Member

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    Try to use it when the suspense it at it's peak.
     
  11. RevGeo
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    RevGeo Member

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    My fiction writings are mainly short stories and yes, I've written some horror stories.
     

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