It’s almost NaNoWrimo (if you are doing NaNoWriMo friend me I need all the accountability I can muster! I am Cabagges+kings) and getting close to Halloween.
Some of us spoonies are living our own little horror stories and are stuck in bed needing some distractions.
I came across this twitter thread from @STOPFLEXIN and it scared me more than Cybermen. I took a minute and deconstructed it so that any of you chronic illness writers can take a minute and write your own terrifying Halloween flash fiction (or hey make it a novel I won’t stop you).
Read Original Twitter Story
How to terrify
Act I the set up
Give the backstory with a terrifying detail that will be innocuous but will come back in Act 3 to give the story validity. She was a witch-not a nice one-she drowned.
Does this GIF help? No, no it does not. Do I have an unhealthy fixation with all things Buffy? Why yes, yes I do. Thank you for asking.
Act II Everything is fine? Why worry? What this Ouija Board is a ty.
Set up a normal scene with a level of innocent mischief we can all see ourselves doing in a scene we can see ourselves in. home alone-find Ouija board
Act II part II scare the life out of them but slowly Mwa Ha Ha
The horror should only be terrifying because it should be not because it is- All the lights go off-A knocking that won't stop-A face in the window-A figure in the backyard-Do not forget details from the protagonist. Heart-breath-belly-nerves. If you have never been traumatized think in terms of EVERY sense being at super human levels. Remember fear is a super power,
Act III Resolution with a question
It should be almost explainable but should push the envelope almost off the table of credibility.
Police (authority lends credibility) or parents come back to find nothing amiss (no break ins but a window on the third floor with no trees or ladders is wide open but WHO could possibly get in that way) but the hall is full of water. Not the bathroom but the hall outside of the protagonists bedroom. Remember drowned witch in act 1?
Th Breakdown Cheatsheet I don’t have time for your geeky GIFS and paragraphs.
I hear you my fellow ADHD spoonies I too have the attention span of a gnat with a substance abuse problem. I have you covered:
Act I what should I be scared of and what detail will I have to believe in the end
Act II set up the scene to scare Me. Where is the victim? What are they experiencing that would normally not be scary?
Act III Aftermath. The scene when it is safe? Unload the detail from Act 1 that a credible source finds and make me believe.
Alright then you have it. Plug and play turn it up or turn it down depending on your audience.
Put your flash story or story idea in the comments and join me at NaNoWriMo for team We Can’t Leave the Bed so We Might As Well Write. Ok it needs work but join me anyways. Find me at Cabagges+kings. Friend me I get lonely.