1. Gholin
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    Gholin Member

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    Writing a Scaredy-Cat who deals with scary things

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Gholin, Oct 26, 2011.

    Hey there.

    I'm writing a Novella where my main character is a scaredy-cat, and it is constantly placed in scary situations, but I have a few problems and I am hoping you guys can help me figure out some ways to handle them. It's a humorous horror for kids and teens and I want the story to be funny and scary.

    My first problem is, I have never written horror, per se, so I don't have a lot of ways to make the reader scared alongside my MC. Does anyone know where some good references on writing horror might be?

    Secondly, my character is scared to death of things he is going up against. How can I represent this without having him "freeze" or look shocked every single scene? I don't really know how to represent all these aspects of his fear. He needs great motivation, obviously, to face these things, but how can I avoid making him "freak out and flee" on every page, or at least, not use the same reactions for everything he goes against. I'm worried my story will be about a guy paralyzed and fleeing most of the time, but I really like the idea of a scaredy-cat facing scary things as a job.

    Thank you for any advice you guys can give me!
     
  2. Scribe Rewan
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    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

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    Can't help with the horror part, but as for your MC, you may like to look at any Terry Pratchett book focussing on Rincewind, who is a cowardly wizard who gets drawn into all sorts of trouble. He always has to resolve the situation, as he is the MC, but he always does it in as cowardly a way as possible. Plus of course, Pratchett is extremely funny, so it's twice as good a source of inspiration :)
     
  3. Gholin
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    Gholin Member

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    Thank you! That's an excellent suggestion to find inspiration from Rincewind. He does have a negative trait that ends up fun to observe and he is still a strong MC. I remember really liking him in the movie version of Color of Magic, and I happen to have that book (just haven't read it yet). Guess I got a new project there!

    So does anyone have any suggestions on where I can find advice on writing horror? It seems to be pretty minimal on the web from what I can see, which is quite surprising! Thanks again!
     
  4. topeka sal
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    topeka sal Senior Member

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    No horror advice, but a couple of film scaredy-cat examples are Indiana Jones when he encounters snakes, and the wonderful portrayal by Roy Scheider of the Chief of Police (Chief Brogan?) in Jaws... "I think we're gonna need a bigger boat"...
     
  5. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    My go to character that fits this description is
    Norvel Rogers of the Mystery inc.
    Shaggy

    Scooby doo.

    Look at him as a character,
    look to other horror books and movies for inspiration.

    Scooby doo always proved the paranormal was man made.
    What if this one can't always prove it?
    Maybe some he does ghost busting? Ghost whispering?

    Read and look at others that write scary and humorous paranormal books, and combine it all into your own.
     
  6. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    Showing him growing as he keeps on facing his fears would probably be a good way to change things up. Maybe at the beginning he panics and wants to flee, but by the end he has gradually become level-headed and brave when facing his fears.
     
  7. Gholin
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    Gholin Member

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    Got any humorous paranormal books in mind?

    My guy is definitely a ghost whisperer more than anything, and unfortunately, without realizing it, he may be a lot like Shaggy (personality-wise) now that I think of it. Only difference is the ghosts are real and he's working with them, trying to solve the problems to help paranormals and normals to coexist, rather than solve a mystery on why there are paranormal dealings going on. He's also not a hippy so I suppose he's different enough from Shaggy.

    I like the spklvr's idea too. He should grow as he faces fears, and eventually get to the point where he's still scared, but sticks around longer to face his fear.
     
  8. picklzzz
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    picklzzz Senior Member

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    I think it may be interesting to have the character imagine things are worse than they are. Then, as he calms a little and is better able to handle things, reverse it and make things worse than he thinks. That may be the horror part - or the most terrifying climax of all.

    I was trying to write a horror story a month or so ago, but everything I wrote didn't seem to fit the bill. I've never tried to write one like you're writing. However, I liked this website. I agree that it was tough to find horror writing sites on the web, but I found this.

    http://www.joemynhardt.com/blog/on-writing-horror-short-stories-part-1-

    Good luck!
     

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