books v film

Books v Film: The Ruins

The Ruins is a novel by Scott Smith, that was released in July 2006. The novel is set in Mexico and tells the story of a group of tourists, who while exploring rural Yucatán accidentally find themselves trapped on top of a hill, where they are hunted by an unexpected predator. 

The film of the same name was released in 2008 and is relatively faithful to the novel. However, where the novel received high praise the film has been criticised. This is a good example of situations where a story is better told via a novel or other written media as opposed to a visual storytelling media. This is mostly because the film had to leave out a lot of the detail that the novel portrayed easily. It is the level of detail in the novel that grounds the reader deeply into the story.

By staying deeply inside the heads of the main characters as they try to understand their situation and devise a means of escape, Smith effectively creates a tense and terrifying atmosphere. This atmosphere simply cannot be reproduced in a solely visual medium.

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Horror Writing

Horror Writing: Pacing Your Story

Pacing your story is important. 

This is likely a phrase that you’ve heard before, I know I certainly heard it several thousand times and knew it academically, but implementing this practically has sometimes proven to be a bit of a challenge.

In a nutshell, the pacing is the speed at which your story progresses. There will be points where things happen quickly and points where it slows down a bit. The important thing to remember is that the speed must be reflective of the story itself. This means that having a fast-paced chapter should be an exciting chapter where the action happens, as opposed to a fast-paced world-building chapter.

The reason pacing can be difficult, at least it’s something I still struggle with it because it’s difficult to label chapters. I do not have entire chapters devoted to character development or world-building, these things are interwoven through the entire story. While I will have a few action-focused chapters they usually come in towards the end. Writing horror, at least for me, means a lot of well-paced build-up with the conclusion being faster paced. Sometimes I feel that this can make pacing disjointed and thus difficult. 

Today, I would like to share with you a few little tips to help you make sure your story is well-paced.

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