1. Savila93
    Offline

    Savila93 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2014
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    3

    how to develop psychological horror?

    Discussion in 'Insights & Inspiration' started by Savila93, Nov 19, 2014.

    Hello, I'm looking to take the readers mind into my mind, I don't know how that sounds but I'm looking for them to question their minds.

    The way I'm looking towards that is to tell some of my personal experiences of course some adding some drama into them and making it confusing. I have depression and panic attacks and adding some schizophrenia to the story doesn't seem like a bad idea.

    My idea for the character is him to be inside his mind a lot of time and over think common situations.
    I know its barely an complete idea but what do you guys think? any tips or ideas?
     
    cydney likes this.
  2. Jack Goldstein
    Offline

    Jack Goldstein New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    I like your idea. Delving into someone's thoughts is a tough process though. What kind of emotions are you going to show?
     
  3. Fitzroy Zeph
    Offline

    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Messages:
    747
    Likes Received:
    269
    Location:
    Canada
    That sounds so hard to do. For me, the single biggest turn off in reading is a dream. They are everywhere, and they are used in all kinds of circumstances, usually to eke out some internal demon the POV character has. I see it turning into one big dreamscape, where nothing happens except thought. If anything, I'd suggest developing 3 or 4 characters that are the same person but a different stages of their disease so that the reader doesn't get lost and has someplace to ground himself.
     
  4. Savila93
    Offline

    Savila93 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2014
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    3
    Thank you for answering, the idea changed into the creation of a schizophrenic guy. Yes, the main character is the creation and the second main character will be the schizophrenic guy of course.
    The main problem the character will be facing is that the schizophrenic guy is a serial killer.

    Thank you for your answer they'll be helpful
     
  5. Gawler
    Offline

    Gawler Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    144
    Location:
    Australia via Hawaii via Australia via England
    For me, I would have such an introspective character question whether his perceptions are too far from reality and seek confirmation one way or the other for an answer.

    I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; Then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?
    Chuang Tzu
     
  6. theoriginalmonsterman
    Online

    theoriginalmonsterman Pickle Contest Administrator Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2014
    Messages:
    524
    Likes Received:
    251
    Location:
    [REDACTED]
    Hmmm... physiological horror is an interesting genre to write about. I like your idea though it's a basic concept, but you can elaborate on it a lot. If you're looking for inspiration though may I suggest http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shining_(film) it might not be going off the same idea you have in mind, but it's still a great film/book if you're looking for inspiration. Anyways that's all I got for now.
     
    cydney likes this.
  7. Steerpike
    Online

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,055
    Likes Received:
    5,256
    Location:
    California, US
    Another source of inspiration: Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House. Don't rely on the films, the book is a great example of psychological horror.
     
  8. Vifibi
    Offline

    Vifibi New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2014
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Psychological horror comes from two sources: Catharsis and uncertainty. If you wish to scare your reader through use of good horror instead of cheap jump-scares (which don't work in writing, unless you stick a tape-recorder into the page or something), you must first make the reader care and associate with the protagonist, then show the tortures the protagonist goes through, without explaining them fully. I once did a story (in my home country's language: Portuguese, but I'm in the middle of translating it at the moment) where the protagonist spent the entire story trying to reach a room in a tower he kept seeing in his dreams. I never revealed what was in the room until the very end, and my readers absolutely loved the horror of his ever-growing desperation and obsession with that particular room.

    Good literary horror comes from tension and fear about what can happen to the character you care about. It's not the kind of horror that makes the reader be afraid for one day then forget about it the next, it's the kind of horror the reader doesn't really feel until much later, when he's lying in bed and thinking about the story he read, and being too afraid to sleep because of it. So, if you want to do proper horror, subtlety, catharsis and uncertainty are musts. A good narrative flow is also quite necessary, though not a deal breaker in most cases.
     
  9. TheSerpantofNar
    Offline

    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2012
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    12
    I actually have the haunting of hill house :)
     
  10. Simpson17866
    Offline

    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,702
    Likes Received:
    1,251
    I'm trying my hand at writing horror short stories, and I'm finding that my my favorite theme is for the protagonists to become the reason why people around them are getting hurt. If some guy comes at you with a knife, then there's a chance that you can defend yourself even if it doesn't work in the end. If you end up hurting others, then you can't solve the problem as easily, especially if you've gotten to the point where don't remember that you should want to.

    The four "D"s I've identified so far are:

    *Deceit: the antagonist convinces the protagonist to do something seemingly innocent, but which the protagonist later discovers has hurt somebody

    *Domination: the antagonist forces the protagonist to hurt others against his will

    *Degeneration: the protagonist gradually loses his moral compass to the point that she doesn't have a problem hurting others

    *Design (specific to supernatural horror): a mundane action that the protagonist cannot reasonably avoid has been corrupted into something that will continue hurting others

    I consider "Design" to be it's own category, rather than a sub-set of "Domination," because there is no antagonist for the protagonist to resist.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
  11. Skaruts
    Offline

    Skaruts Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Portugal
    Stephen King's "Lisey's Story", though not exactly the type of character you're after, has a lot of introspection. Might be inspiring to read it, if you haven't.

    Telling the story in first person, using the character as the narrator is the only thing that comes to my mind, but that might be a given. I've never tried this kind of thing myself yet.
     
  12. Bookish_Introvert
    Offline

    Bookish_Introvert Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2015
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    USA
    The best advice I can give you is to talk to someone who has schizophrenia or DID (which sounds a lot like what you're describing, minus the hallucinations). As far as inspiration goes look into Darkly Dreaming Dexter. Even if you decide to just watch the TV, it should give you a lot insight on the mind of a sociopath, although bear in mind that sociopaths do, in fact, feel emotions despite their lack of empathy. Or, at least, they're damn good at faking them. If Dexter is too unrealistic for you, then try watching Girl, Interrupted. It does an excellent job of portraying the little known female psychopath, but remember there is a difference between a psychopath and a sociopath (the psychopath feels no empathy, while the sociopath feels very little). Also check out Identical by Ellen Hopkins, the Karen Overhill story, or Sybil which all detail the lives of characters with DID.
     
  13. Tim3232
    Offline

    Tim3232 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2015
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    101
    Location:
    UK
    My last completed was 1st person crime. There was a lot of introspection which a few readers said I did extremely well, however all said it needed more dialogue in some places. So take care no to overdo the introspection. You can show his over-thinking things in dialogue with someone else.
     
  14. Megalith
    Offline

    Megalith Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    Messages:
    772
    Likes Received:
    309
    Location:
    New Mexico
    I've been really trying to hone this genre in my writing. I haven't had fantastic success or anything, but I really want it to be creepy, surreal, and off putting. I don't want to simply use the occult in general as a horse for my horror. Psychiatric disease is fun to tackle, especially with the horror genre. It's possible though, that it's very difficult to capture this in new and interesting ways. I can think of a few examples in cinema like, Enemy, The Machinist, Side Effect, just to name a few. It is definitely possible, and if you have some interesting ideas I would go for it. Just remember, is very common for these horror stories to portray the jaded view of reality from the perspective of the crazed individual, only to reveal the truth in the plot twist ending.
     
  15. Amy Brahams
    Offline

    Amy Brahams Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2016
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    12
    Physiological horror is trully an interesting genre to write about
     

Share This Page