Your Monster in Your Haunted House

happy-halloweenCreate your own haunted house.

Plan the layout, the type of rooms, the design and colours. Write about the street appeal and what people see, hear, smell and sense from out on the street.

Then, create the monster living in the house, the surprise in the centre of the maze of rooms and storytelling. What happened to create this monster and what will happen in the future? Do things get better or worse for your monster in your haunted house?

Art from: ASCII Artist.com

Inspiration from Horror and Science Fiction Genres

This list comes from Writers Digest.

I’m still looking for more science fiction subgenres so this list isn’t enough for me. But, it is a good place to start. Also great as inspiration when you get stuck for ideas or have ideas and can’t pin them down.

Horror

  • Child in Peril: involving the abduction and/or persecution of a child.
  • Comic Horror: horror stories that either spoof horror conventions or that mix the gore with dark humor.
  • Creepy Kids: horror tale in which children – often under the influence of dark forces – begin to turn against the adults.
  • Dark Fantasy: a horror story with supernatural and fantasy elements.
  • Dark Mystery/Noir: inspired by hardboiled detective tales, set in an urban underworld of crime and moral ambiguity.
  • Erotic Vampire: a horror tale making the newly trendy link between sexuality and vampires, but with more emphasis on graphic description and violence.
  • Fabulist: derived from “fable,” an ancient tradition in which objects, animals or forces of nature are anthropomorphized in order to deliver a moral lesson.
  • Gothic: a traditional form depicting the encroachment of the Middle Ages upon the 18th century Enlightenment, filled with images of decay and ruin, and episodes of imprisonment and persecution.
  • Hauntings: a classic form centering on possession by ghosts, demons or poltergeists, particularly of some sort of structure.
  • Historical: horror tales set in a specific and recognizable period of history.
  • Magical Realism: a genre inspired by Latin-American authors, in which extraordinary forces or creatures pop into otherwise normal, real-life settings.
  • Psychological: a story based on the disturbed human psyche, often exploring insane, altered realities and featuring a human monster with horrific, but not supernatural, aspects.
  • Quiet Horror: subtly written horror that uses atmosphere and mood, rather than graphic description, to create fear and suspense.
  • Religious: horror that makes use of religious icons and mythology, especially the angels and demons derived from Dante’s Inferno and Milton’s Paradise Lost.
  • Science-Fiction Horror: SF with a darker, more violent twist, often revolving around alien invasions, mad scientists, or experiments gone wrong.
  • Splatter: a fairly new, extreme style of horror that cuts right to the gore.
  • Supernatural Menace: a horror tale in which the rules of normal existence don’t apply, often featuring ghosts, demons, vampires and werewolves.
  • Technology: stories featuring technology that has run amok, venturing increasingly into the expanding domain of computers, cyberspace, and genetic engineering.
  • Weird Tales: inspired by the magazine of the same name, a more traditional form featuring strange and uncanny events (Twilight Zone).
  • Young Adult: horror aimed at a teen market, often with heroes the same age, or slightly older than, the reader.
  • Zombie: tales featuring dead people who return to commit mayhem on the living.

 

Science Fiction/Fantasy

 

  • Alternate History: speculative fiction that changes the accepted account of actual historical events, often featuring a profound “what if?” premise.
  • Arthurian Fantasy: reworkings of the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
  • Bangsian Fantasy: stories speculating on the afterlives of famous people.
  • Biopunk: a blend of film noir, Japanese anime and post-modern elements used to describe an underground, nihilistic biotech society.
  • Children’s Fantasy: a kinder, gentler style of fantasy aimed at very young readers.
  • Comic: fantasy or science fiction that spoofs the conventions of the genre, or the conventions of society.
  • Cyberpunk: stories featuring tough outsiders in a high-tech near-future where computers have produced major changes in society.
  • Dark Fantasy: tales that focus on the nightmarish underbelly of magic, venturing into the violence of horror novels.
  • Dystopian: stories that portray a bleak future world.
  • Erotic: SF or fantasy tales that focus on sexuality.
  • Game-Related Fantasy: tales with plots and characters similar to high fantasy, but based on a specific role-playing game like Dungeons and Dragons.
  • Hard Science Fiction: tales in which real present-day science is logically extrapolated to the future.
  • Heroic Fantasy: stories of war and its heroes, the fantasy equivalent of military science fiction.
  • High/Epic Fantasy: tales with an emphasis on the fate of an entire race or nation, often featuring a young “nobody” hero battling an ultimate evil.
  • Historical: speculative fiction taking place in a recognizable historical period.
  • Mundane SF: a movement that spurns fanciful conceits like warp drives, wormholes and faster-than-light travel for stories based on scientific knowledge as it actually exists.
  • Military SF: war stories that extrapolate existing military technology and tactics into the future.
  • Mystery SF: a cross-genre blend that can be either an SF tale with a central mystery or a classic whodunit with SF elements.
  • Mythic Fiction: stories inspired, or modeled on, classic myths, legends and fairy tales.
  • New Age: a category of speculative fiction that deals with occult subjects such as astrology, psychic phenomena, spiritual healing, UFOs and mysticism.
  • Post-Apocalyptic: stories of life on Earth after an apocalypse, focusing on the struggle to survive.
  • Romance: speculative fiction in which romance plays a key part.
  • Religious: centering on theological ideas, and heroes who are ruled by their religious beliefs.
  • Science Fantasy: a blend in which fantasy is supported by scientific or pseudo-scientific explanations.
  • Social SF: tales that focus on how characters react to their environments – including social satire.
  • Soft SF: tales based on the more subjective, “softer” sciences: psychology, sociology, anthropology, etc.
  • Space Opera: a traditional good guys/bad guys faceoff with lots of action and larger-than-life characters.
  • Spy-Fi: tales of espionage with SF elements, especially the use of high-tech gadgetry.
  • Steampunk: a specific type of alternate history in which characters in Victorian England have access to 20th century technology.
  • Superheroes: stories featuring characters endowed with superhuman strengths or abilities.
  • Sword and Sorcery: a classic genre often set in the medieval period, and more concerned with immediate physical threats than high or heroic fantasy.
  • Thriller SF: an SF story that takes on the classic world-at-risk, cliffhanger elements of a thriller.
  • Time-Travel: stories based on the concept of moving forward or backward in time, often delving into the existence of parallel worlds.
  • Urban Fantasy: a fantasy tale in which magical powers and characters appear in an otherwise normal modern context, similar to Latin American magical realism.
  • Vampire: variations on the classic vampire legend, recently taking on many sexual and romantic variations.
  • Wuxia: fantasy tales set within the martial arts traditions and philosophies of China.
  • Young Adult: speculative fiction aimed at a teenage audience, often featuring a hero the same age or slightly older than the reader.

Ordinary Horror

Think of something ordinary and give it a horror story.

I like reading about objects like paintings, furniture and dolls which have stories of death and destruction behind them. I do wonder if there is some truth to it. Of course, people who tend to live with risk, take adventures and such, are likely to have accidents and die in crashes or even pick up diseases. So, you can’t take every story seriously and believe it just because you read it.

However, I do think strong emotion hangs around in places and objects too. There are places which give people a strange, out of sorts, feeling. There are people you meet and dislike right away, without any reason. Almost everyone has walked into a room where people have argued and felt that tension – without anyone saying a word. So it does seem possible something like that could stick around. Possible but I wouldn’t say I believe fully.

It does make a good story. How would you write it? What object or item would you pick? Was it stolen from an ancient site? Did it belong to a murdered woman? What was the tragic event connected to it? What happened to people who owned or used it since then? Pick an outline and give it a good story. Try to spook yourself with it.

Source: 25 Terrifying Objects That Are Genuinely Linked To Freaky Paranormal Events

Horror Writer Selfies

What a fun thing for writers to do. Show your personality and show off your writing genre with a selfie. Other genre writers should get together on this idea.

What would non-fiction writers do?

Horrorselfies.com is your source for all selfies supporting the horror, dark fantasy and occult genre. We welcome new selfies – please read our submission guidelines and submit your selfie. You may share any of the selfies you find on this site, in fact we encourage you to do so!

Source: Horror Selfies: From The Horror Writers Association

Crossing Lines

I wrote a short horror story and submitted it to Tor just now. I feel kind of bold and yet full of doubt at the same time.

The weird thing about writing it was the moment I felt myself cross the line from sanity into horror. There was a point in writing it where I stopped and had to make myself find a way to write the rest of it, crossing the line from what is reality into what is more than reality. Not like fiction and non-fiction but that thing a nice girl wouldn’t write.

Best wishes to me. Tor says it will be at least three months before I hear from them. Likely I will have forgotten about it all by then. In three months it will be the new year, 2015 and I will be 50 years old. A good time to cross lines.

The Dark Stories of L.M. Montgomery

amongshadowsAmong the Shadows: Tales from the darker side of L.M. Montgomery (the writer of Anne of Green Gables).

What makes a story creepy? There are obvious things like ghosts, graves, death, etc. But, what could you write without obvious creepy things?

I still think the real horror isn’t the stuff made into a typically horror movie or book but the day-to-day stuff we all but take for granted. The real horror is losing your place in the world. Losing your credit card – that flash or flush you feel when you realize you didn’t just misplace it in the house.

Horror is simple and strong at it’s best. Being chased by bloody corpses, ghosts or assorted made up monsters does not compare to the horror of getting audited for unpaid taxes, not being able to find your child in a department store, or … what?

Think of a situation which would be very dark, creepy and horrifying for you and write about it.

Fairy Tales and Sub Genres

This is a great list. I haven’t heard of all of these, most of them, but not all. As a reader do you like to pin down your style of fiction or does it matter more when you are writing it?

  • Cyberpunk

  • Dystopian

  • Erotica

  • Spy Thriller

  • Southern Gothic

  • Satire

  • Urban Fantasy

  • Space Horror

  • Space Opera

  • Young Adult Contemporary

  • “Grimdark” Fantasy

  • Psychological Horror

  • Hard Sci-Fi

  • Slasher Film

  • Ecothriller

  • Sword & Sorcery

  • Lovecraftian

  • Zombie Apocalypse

  • Superhero

  • Detective

via Flash Fiction Challenge: Fairy Tales, Remixed « terribleminds: chuck wendig.