Thursday, November 8, 2012

What Scares You?

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


  1. The scariest and most disturbing is being trapped. I was forced to eat cooked liver and onions once when I was a child and it was the most horrifying experience. Force-feeding! Just the words make me shudder. And it's not something I can personally write about because it's too raw in my mind.

    1. Being trapped. Actually, I've already touched on that in the opening scene. Good to know, thanks!

  2. A character is injured\disfigured but doesn't realise it, but the other characters do. The injured\disfigured character is acting quite normally until slowly they realise that something has happened from the expressions on the other characters' faces. Then with a cry of horror they realise the full ramifications of how they have been injured\disfigured.