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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Horror Writing

Horror Writing: The Three Act Structure

In my last blog, I mentioned the typical three-act structure that is present in most stories.

Today I want to talk a little bit more about this, as while it is not a complicated part of story craft it is where a lot of writers come into problems. What I mean by that is that whenever a story doesn’t quite ‘feel right’ or leaves the audience unhappy or unsatisfied, it’s usually because something in the three-act structure has gone wrong.

What is the Three Act Structure?

The Three Act Structure is a simple, but effective, way of structuring a story. It allows you as the writer/creator to craft a story in such a way that will engage your audience and leave them feeling satisfied at the end of the experience.

If you can follow this structure and work your story into each part well and organically, then your story will work. However, if any part of the structure is rushed through or forced in then your audience isn’t going to enjoy your story as well as they could had you followed the structure.

Horror Writing

Horror Writing: Skills you can learn from writing horror

The best way to learn new and interesting writing skills is to read and write a variety of genres. The more you expose yourself to the wider and more varied your range of knowledge will be. Think about it those who read or write thrillers will learn different lessons to those who read or write romance. Each genre has it’s own specific strengths and weaknesses and if you limit yourself to a single genre (either reading or writing) then you’ll build a certain set of strengths but never overcome the weaknesses. But by reading different genres and styles you may find tips and tricks to overcome the weaknesses inherent in the genre your writing at that time.

Horror is my own main focus (although I dabble all over the place to widen my own skillset), this means the bulk of my strengths lie in horror. Today I am going to share with you some of the potential skills you could develop by giving horror writing a try.

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Horror Writing

Horror Writing: Magic in Mundane Settings

Magic is … well magical, it can bring an element of excitement and otherworldly power into any story. Magic appears in all kinds of fantasy stories, be they high fantasy, urban fantasy or gothic fantasy. I personally really enjoy fantasy stories that are set in the ‘real’ world, I love the idea that there’s more to our own world than we know and that if you scratch beneath the surface there’s a whole other way of life, be it terrifying or exciting.

Today I want to talk about writing magic when your story is set in the ‘real’ world.

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