As mentioned in a previous post, I am now writing a horror novel called Darkridge Hall as part of my #12NovelsIn12Months project. This is a new experience for me. Now, years and years ago, long before I was any type of "serious" writer, I had begun and rather quickly abandoned a few horror stories, and a couple of the short stories available in my collection are horror, but this is my first serious effort at a full-length horror novel.
My biggest concern in writing it is this: can I make it scary? Sure, I can have "scary" things happen to my characters, but will they necessarily scare the reader? I don't know yet. However, I did creep myself out a bit while writing the other day. I suppose my main concern for now should just be to tell the story. If the element of horror is not strong enough after the first draft, I can always go back and try to punch it up.
So let me ask my readers for advice: What do you find scary in a horror novel? What makes your skin crawl, your spine tingle, your short and curlys stand on end? What gives you goosebumps, the willies, the heeby-jeebies, the creeps? I don't mean particular things you find scary, but what literary elements make a scene scary? Let me know and I'll keep your suggestions in mind as I continue writing Darkridge Hall!
All the Best,
Michael K. Rose