Showing posts from October, 2014

How to Write Scary Scenes – Part 1

It’s an age old question. How do you scare your reader out of their wits? Whether you are writing a horror story or a ghost/supernatural story or indeed any story that you want to illicit plenty of emotions – especially the scary ones – the ability to scare the reader or invoke fear, helps to makes the story all the more realistic. But scaring people isn’t easy. The art of scaring your reader is all about what you DON’T reveal, as opposed to what you do reveal. And that’s because fear – psychologically speaking – is a primitive emotion that manifests when we don’t understand what we are confronted with. It’s easy to fear something we don’t know about, and that’s because we feel like we have no control over the situation. Not being in control scares many people. In fiction, it’s about creating that sense of no control, not knowing, not seeing the whole thing, of being helpless.   It’s about creating a heightened sense of tension and atmosphere. It’s about manipulating how and

Should You Write About Taboo subjects?

I often get asked a lot about this by writers, worried that some subjects are off limits and should never be broached at the risk of offending people or upsetting their own families. Also, there is a fear that controversial subjects might limit readership or, worse still, publication, however, the thing to consider with writing is that it is not just a form of expression or an art form; it is the basis of our social comment on humanity.   Finding answers to what makes people tick, what makes them do the things they do, is what writing really is all about. To that end, no subject is truly off limits. But like any medium, it is how we handle the subject that really matters. Just as artists are free to express what they want in their work, writing is no different. Writers are free to explore the forbidden or usually unavoidable subjects, however unsavoury they may be, particularly so if there is a moral behind the story and it raises the kinds of questions we as society s