What elements make the perfect horror story/novel? How do you make something tru

Jump to Last Post 1-15 of 15 discussions (15 posts)
  1. Earl S. Wynn profile image82
    Earl S. Wynnposted 7 years ago

    What elements make the perfect horror story/novel? How do you make something truly scary?

  2. rlaha profile image68
    rlahaposted 7 years ago

    I think that making both the story and the effects seem real would make the story really scary.  I have nightmares watching scary movies/reading scary novels so I just don't do that anymore.  That was a great question!

  3. alancaster149 profile image85
    alancaster149posted 7 years ago

    I would offer:
    1  Read M R James' work;
    2. Develop the story fully;
    3. Go easy on description;
    4. Go easy on gore - in fact minimalise.
    5. The essence of 'creepy' is understatement (which brings you back to 1.)

  4. Mflorenc profile image60
    Mflorencposted 7 years ago

    I think the "unexpected" makes a perfect, or at least good, horror story/novel.

    I like Stephen King, and while what he writes is considered more suspense than horror; I like his approach. You "think" you know what's coming next and then he "throws you a curve".

    That's what I like/think anyway.

  5. duffsmom profile image60
    duffsmomposted 7 years ago

    For me it is frightening elements in an other wise safe area.  Suppose the protagonist is in her safe home, lights have gone out, she is looking around.  In the other room an intruder watches her.  Her being in her home, thinking she knows what is in every room - yet we the reader can "see" she is not safe is the kind of thing that terrifies me.  Also when a character barely makes it out and the bad guy grabs an ankle and she just gets away.  Or barely makes it into the house or car while being chased.  At least in movies that really gets me.

  6. sasanqua profile image77
    sasanquaposted 7 years ago

    A great horror story ends with a twist. When you get to the end, you feel relief because the hero is safe or the bad guy has been killed or whatever...Then, just as you finish, feeling content, something scary ends it, leaving you feeling uneasy and scared even though the story is finished.

  7. tlmcgaa70 profile image70
    tlmcgaa70posted 7 years ago

    the thing that causes most people true fear is the unknown. lead the reader on through small bits of information. you may KNOW who your killer is (or what) but keep the reader guessing. and try hard to make it difficult for them to guess the truth. i know i love a story that proves me wrong when i think i know "who dunnit". a twist at the end can be good, especially if you plan on continuing in a second book. personally i dont like some of the twists i come across, they leave me feeling unfinished, unsatisfied. i like closure. in "the deed of paksenarrion" my favorite part was when they were in a battle, and no matter how they fought, they were losing because the enemy was both to powerful and to many. at the last minute, they were joined by an unexpected ally. i actually cheered out loud with pleasure because i was sure they were going to lose. again, in the same book, paksenarrion was tortured and brainwashed and sent out believing she was killing the enemy when in reality she was set upon her friends. i was very fearful in that situation. would they stop her in time or would they not recognize her and attack her. a very well written story draws you in so you get caught up in the action and what is happening. you forget it is a book and stop analysing what will happen. you are taken along with the characters and learn things as they do and when they do.
    tell about your characters so the reader comes to identify with and empathize with them in all their struggles. make a good guy bad or a bad guy good.
    hope this helps.

  8. ytsenoh profile image81
    ytsenohposted 7 years ago

    I think the element of fear is caused when there is the element of an unknown detail, person, or act.  Or, it can be a facial expression...remember Jack Nicholson in "The Shining" with those big eyes and raised eyebrows?

  9. Daisy Mariposa profile image85
    Daisy Mariposaposted 7 years ago

    One way is to represent a person or being as representing perfect, flawless evil.  Here's some examples in my opinion:

    H. P. Lovecraft's  Cthulhu.  Lovecraft made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end when he described this being as having a degree of malevolence "not to be found in this galaxy".

    Another example was the shark in the movie Jaws.  The movie and it's background theme have long passed into humorous references, but when I first saw the movie, it's portrayal of the shark as encapsulating pure, relentless violence really creeped me out.

    Also, another movie that really scared the daylights out of me when I first saw it was Alien - the alien creature was represented in the same way.

  10. netslums profile image83
    netslumsposted 7 years ago

    This is a great question...and one I have actually debated with some close friends of mine (all of whom are film junkies). I draw attention to movies when it comes to this question. For me, what made films like "The Thing" truly scary was that it left the audience with very little information. Having the creature's origin briefly hinted at and shrouded in mystery gave the creature more scare factor.
    The mysterious and the unknown are always scary, so naturally when the frightening thing is explained, its immediately void of producing fear.

  11. profile image55
    TajSinghposted 7 years ago

    Adding elements of common knowledge can make a horror story or novel more scary.

  12. georgetyler profile image60
    georgetylerposted 7 years ago

    tension and the unknown mainly these in the simplest.

  13. arksys profile image91
    arksysposted 7 years ago

    no blood is required ... it's all a mental game ... the fear of the unknown. leave the person guessing and in the end the negative character should win.

  14. Robin Cristy profile image61
    Robin Cristyposted 7 years ago

    Dark corners and crooked shadows that shape into subtle faces and hands... Oh my...  Setting + rich language + suspense = equals chills up the spine!

  15. Megalomediac profile image61
    Megalomediacposted 6 years ago

    The imaginagtion is more powerful than the reality...Hitchcock was the master of this technique/story device....the unimagintive slasher flicks that mistake gore for content & border on the peverse don't even deserve to share the same genre as Alfred Hitchcock.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)