Monday, April 11, 2011

ABC, H for Horror

Horror is subjective.
I wondered, when I'd bumped into a Boggart, what would I be confronted with? What would your Boggart become? What makes the hair on your neck stand up and leave the lights on at night?

Writing Tips for Scary Stories:
  • Write about what scares you: be willing to dig deep down inside yourself and confront yourself with your own fears.
  • Study the craft: get more acquainted with horror writing by reading horror stories and watching horror movies.
  • Timing and pacing: Take the time necessary to establish creepy moods and capture the fright of your story's surroundings and scenarios.
  • Avoid horror clich├ęs: Explore original ways to create horror in your story.
  • Write realistically: it could actually happen.
  • Writing habits: Stay in touch with your characters and keep the intensity high by writing every day.
I leave it up to the professionals to write real horror, in my stories I appreciate a touch of tension, excitement and scary secrets. So, the following scene is just an experiment:

Just like any other day I spent some spare time in my living room, laid comfortable on my couch in my usual 'reading position' with a good book in my hand. Everything was calm and relaxed. Something caught my peripheral vision, some kind of irritated my view fell on my left forefinger. There, on the inside of the lowest phalanx, was something: a black round spot, the size of a pin's head. I couldn't remember having any freckle there, so I inspected that spot a little closer. What a strange location for a pimple, or was it maybe a scratch of my meowing sweethearts? Besides, there was nothing red or swollen, just that black spot. I scratched with my right forefinger nail over it - and was amazed: Had I unperceivedly gotten a splinter in my finger?
Cautiously, now with two fingernails, I pulled on that thing - and was no completely perplex what I pulled out. The moment I realized, what it was, I let that thing fallen out of pure shock. Already half frightened and panicked, I whisked that thing over my blanket on the floor and for the first time I dared a closer look. Indeed! Down there wriggled an about 2 cm long, transparent-white worm!!! That black part was its pin's size head!!! Out of pure horror I was totally paralyzed...
...until my gaze returned back to my left hand: There, on that place, on that 'hole' you could see very clearly the blood vessel, reaching under the skin up to the fingertip. But not just this: on the middle phalanx under the skin black dots were about to appear: One, two, three, five... then on the top phalanx the same! And those dots were getting slowly larger and lager, and more and more! The skin on top couldn't stand the pressure any longer and tore slowly open along the whole finger! Out there swell black eggs, black caviar ... constantly more and more ... the whole forefinger was covered with that black crap! Strange appeared that simple golden ring on my forefinger (since when was I wearing a ring there?)...
But the fright had no end, on the contrary: It still continued! Now on the inner surface of my palm. There too, first only black dots were seen, that ongoing got more and more and bigger and bigger, until they blasted up the skin...
Paradoxically I didn't feel any pain, maybe I was simply to shocked about that, what I saw in front of my eyes!
When the dreadfulness reached my wrist watch, I could hear myself shrilly scream, before everything went black in front of my eyes and I got unconscious...

P.S. The last sentence of that Writing Tips "Remember, the best way to know if your novel will scare your readers is if you are scared writing it." Is that so? Then after reading my little scene, you should be scared to death! It's based on a nightmare, where I woke up shaking and checking my hands double and triple! And I swore to never touch that pages in my dream diary again!

P.P.S. A Boggart is a shape-shifting creature that takes on the form of the viewer's worst fear. (Definition by Harry Potter Wiki)


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