What is a horror story?

What is a horror story?

This story is a writing work that induces readers to be afraid of some usually unknown things beyond their control. These stories have such a great impact on people because fear is one of the basic emotions. It ensures our awareness of possible dangers to our lives. That is why nearly all people afraid when they read a good horror story or watch a horror film.

As a basic emotion of fear, horror is an ancient genre. It originates from the times of Greece and Rome. But, this genre may be much older. We know only about the ancient writing samples from those times.

 What can inspire you for writing a horror story?

This genre provides plenty of space for your creative thinking. Actually, there are many stories of this type at the moment, and fans have already accustomed to, let’s say, standard topics:

  • witches;
  • werewolves;
  • ghosts;
  • demons;
  • people locked in castles with creatures;
  • supernatural things.

Of course, you can use these topics, but it is better to develop something on your own. There is one main thing at this point.

 Basic thing

To write a good horror story, you should feel that fear on your own. Think about any kind of thing that terrifying you to the maximum extent possible. When you think about a plot of your future story, don’t write it with the emphasis on the so-called “Happy end.” If you want to make, this story resolved with good outcomes, start to think about this closer to the end of your story. During its development, it keeps the feeling of terribleness and inability to resolve it accompanied by fear.


Well, writing this type of story is unusual by default. The main thing at this point is that you need to deal with fears and your subconscious protections. Here is something to help you.


When you start your work, look through the following tips:

  • learn about the subject of your future story: its history, the behavior of this creature, how people reacted on it;
  • look through the similar books where the subject of your story appears;
  • pay attention to the plot twists and literary tolls used for describing the same subjects;
  • make notes during the analysis of your feelings and tools that have impressed you most of all;
  • think about an unusual title for your story;
  • avoid clichés when working on your story, for instance, some commonly used phrases for this genre;
  • set aside moral restrictions for some time as they can become obstacles during your writing. But, at the same time, try to be balanced about your imagination.


During the work itself, advise you to follow the next steps:

Collect as much information as you can. First of all, you should focus on the most terrible and scary samples of writing related to your subject. Make some short summaries for your convenience and set them aside for some time. Pay attention to your emotions, how they appear and disappear, what things trigger those processes. Emotions are crucial for this genre. Write down your observations, and they will help you next.

    1. Make a plot of your story.

You can use your imagination to the maximum extent possible here. Advise you to take some ordinary situation and put your characters there. Develop them, keeping in mind those things that were terrifying you most of all during the preliminary analysis.

Think thoroughly about the characters of your story, their vocabulary. It is better to write down how you see them, their behavior, and their distinctive features. Feel free to add some terrible features to your characters in line with your main idea.

Use a separate paper to list all your ideas. Advise you to range such afterward according to their importance. It is better to make a more or less calm beginning, then place some unusual event that starts the story, and afterward develop it through the text. Feel free to add some unexpected twists to make your story even more complicated and terrible.

Details can add extra value to your story. This may be unnatural things or terrible psychological details. At this point, you may refer to the chosen samples of literature. Think about all possible bad things that can happen with your characters and choose moderate or very terrible ones, depending on your intention.

At the end of this process, you should have a clear vision about this story in your head and a preliminary plan of your story on a paper. But, in any case, you can amend such if this can make your story more horrible. You need fear, shock, and similar states for this genre.

    1. Writing attempt # 1

Write your first draft like seeing this story on your own eyes and expressing your emotions about it. It is even okay if you don’t follow your preliminary plot to the maximum extent. Actually, this way you can develop even something better. Free-writing is always helpful. Suggest you set aside this draft for some time and pay attention to your emotions.

If this is your first writing attempt and you feel difficulties with writing this kind of story, try to be more balanced about its plot. Don’t include any excessive terrible details for the first time.

    1. Writing attempt #2

Take your preliminary plot and the first draft. Read each one and try to think about what things you want to remain and what things you want to remove. If necessary, rewrite your preliminary plot. Afterward, write the second draft of your story and set it aside again.

    1. Revisions

When your horror story is ready, start to revise it. Remove some unnecessary things unless they don’t create a background for unpredictable or terrible things. Make sure your story flows. You may reach this by adding respective transitions between the separate parts of your story.

  1. Reviews

To be sure that your story really can scare somebody, pass for reviews to other people. Choose better somebody who likes horrors. They are experienced in this genre, so it will be difficult to make them afraid. But, if you manage to scare them, you will scare other people with your story for sure.

 Final Words

Writing a horror story can be very complicated as you need to trigger fear nerves of your readers. Think unusual for this purpose and develop some unique plot. Your story should be scary for you first. This shows you can make your future readers scary too.

Feel also free to add to your story some distinctive features that can make your story really memorable. Choose some unusual plot to make interested, even very experienced readers.

And good luck.

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