So last week, I posted a few questions for us all to think about. Horror writers have to be inspired by something to get the story ideas that they cultivate into scary novels and films. But the question is, where? How? And just so you know, not all horror writers are crazy;) So, for all of you out there that wonder where the hell it all begins…here are a few answers:
Where do your ideas for a new story come from?
1. My ideas come from taking all the things I love and slamming them together until they work.
2. My brain is sort of always marinating in a 80s stew of horror movies, heavy metal, and Dungeons & Dragons-style swords and sorcery. So, ideas just tend to kind of float to the surface of that stew. I write them down so i won’t forget, and then come back to develop them later.
3. I take past experiences, snippets of songs, and things I love and warp them into broken characters. From there, the writing organically takes shape and creates the rest.
How can you get around the typical horror tropes?
1. Avoid these at all costs, unless you use them to set up an ideal situation and then viciously subvert it. Bring in outside influences, like philosophy and theology.
2. I usually embrace them when to comes to horror story tropes. I love horror because of the tropes, so I never look at them as a negative. Where I will often deviate from the tropes is when it comes to characters. I don’t always play to the archetypes.
3. I’m not one to follow the beaten path, so no tropes for me. Actually, I fight against most of what is considered to be normal in any story. And I may or may not have just done the opposite of this in my current WIP.
How do you include them in a new way into a story?
1. Find new ideas in horror that no one takes seriously–an intellectual castoff–and then treat it with seriousness.
2. I do always add my own twist on the formula. I’m not a huge plotter, so a lot of times the twist will come about organically, from asking “What If?” at different parts in the story.
3. I’m a pantster, so the story grows as I write and this allows room for growth and/or unraveling of the characters. I take the normal and make sure the reader will never look at this the same way ever again.
So, here are just a few answers from our horror writers, here at The Midnight Society. How about you? How do you write? Join us again next month for some talk about horror characters.