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#140718 - 01/27/05 08:08 PM Important elements of a good horror story?
Justin D. - Horror Lit Host Offline
Newbie

Registered: 12/27/04
Posts: 42
Loc: Southwestern Colorado
Hey all!

What do you think makes a good horror story? Is it the plot, the characterization, the themes? Yes, I KNOW it's all of them, but if you had to choose one, which one would you choose? Can you think of other themes? Give examples? Share your horror-ble experiences with the rest of us! (Bad puns need not apply)...
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#140719 - 02/06/05 05:43 PM Re: Important elements of a good horror story?
RoseDesRochers Offline
Jellyfish

Registered: 02/01/05
Posts: 128
Loc: Canada Ont
Hello Justin well I think vivid scenarios, strong characters, realistic dialogue, and terror so real the reader won't question if the story is fiction. Mind you I can't write like that lol. I'm a poetess but I admire those who can <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


Edited by Rose DesRochers (02/06/05 05:44 PM)
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#140720 - 02/07/05 01:35 PM Re: Important elements of a good horror story?
Judith, Football editor Offline
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Registered: 10/26/04
Posts: 1436
Loc: GA
Horror stories that can be real are the best. Something that happens through normal things makes you think about the story everytime you do whatever it is. Those are the best.
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#140721 - 02/16/05 04:29 PM Re: Important elements of a good horror story?
JanetBoyer Offline
Zebra

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 3698
Loc: USA
I totally agree with Judith. This is why Stephen King books eventually got old to me. But Hannibal Lecter, for example? Ack!
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#140722 - 02/17/05 07:52 AM Re: Important elements of a good horror story?
BiblBasixEditor Offline
Gecko

Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 764
Loc: Chandler, Arizona
To me the most horrific stories are those that I can't quite grasp. The ones that leave me pondering HOW something could have gone so wrong.

I love REAL stories about REAL people who have strayed into the realm of the unrealistic and then acted upon those irrational thoughts and feelings....to me thats true horror...
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#140723 - 05/29/05 05:36 AM It`s simple . .
teich Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/01/05
Posts: 20
Loc: South Africa
You need a character ( preferably a perfect model ) who you can associate with. If you don`t believe in the main character, the rest is pretty much useless really.

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#140724 - 08/29/05 05:59 AM Re: Important elements of a good horror story?
musicalmom Offline
Gecko

Registered: 06/26/05
Posts: 435
Loc: Flowery Branch, Georgia
I got to where I liked Dean Koontz (liked - LOVED!!!) way more than Stephen King for that reason. Most of his stories you kind of went...maybe? And he always had that 1 character that your heart just rooted for.
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#140725 - 09/09/05 01:04 AM Re: Important elements of a good horror story?
Shaun Offline
Amoeba

Registered: 09/09/05
Posts: 99
I think characters you can believe in and feel worried for make the best horror stories. If you don't feel scared for the character, then you don't care what happens to them. No matter what form the horror takes, if you don't feel for the character then the horror is diminished.

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#140726 - 09/28/05 04:53 AM Re: Important elements of a good horror story?
Carnivora Offline
Newbie

Registered: 09/27/05
Posts: 7
Loc: Yorkshire, N.England
There is also the mysteries that happen at the beginning/middle which keeps a grip on the reader. It makes you want to find out the answer to those puzzles, why people did this, why did that happen and so on. It doesn't have to be one puzzle but several others. Sort of like cliff hangers.

I also think a good story depends on the main character but there's one problem. A lot of mainstream horror books tend to have main characters that are so boringly average people that I can't relate to them and give up on reading the book.

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#140727 - 10/02/05 05:48 PM Re: Important elements of a good horror story?
mama2manykidlets Offline
Newbie

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 16
i have to agree that an element of realism is nessecary but not too real..i like koontz for his believeablity but i like King for his single element of reality..for example while the good v. evil element of The stand is pretty unlikely (the dreams, the god v. deamon, etc..)the chances that the US goverment is manufacturing a deadly virus like the one in the story are pretty darn good!

i think that you can't pick one element to be most important..every element of a story, any story are important to that particular tale.
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#140728 - 11/09/05 10:54 PM Re: Important elements of a good horror story?
Justin D. - Horror Lit Host Offline
Newbie

Registered: 12/27/04
Posts: 42
Loc: Southwestern Colorado
I agree that suspense and character are invaluable to the horror story. What importance do you place on such elements as pacing and atmosphere?
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#140729 - 11/10/05 05:27 AM Re: Important elements of a good horror story?
Chelle - Marriage Editor Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Chimpanzee

Registered: 09/03/05
Posts: 7186
Loc: Lake Lanier, Georgia
I think pacing and atmosphere are relative in terms of the characters and intrigue that's originally set up.

If the book really starts dragging, but i am completely invested in a character- I will still follow it through to the end (although I might peek; oh the shame!) <img src="/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

Atmosphere; I think that more or less depends on your own imagination. I read authors like Tom Clancy and think "Get on with it! I don't have to be told what every single bolt in the sub looked like." Sometimes being given so much information is like being spoonfed, its annoying. IMHO
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#911074 - 06/09/16 02:57 PM Re: Important elements of a good horror story? [Re: Justin D. - Horror Lit Host]
Nancy Roussy Offline
Highest Posting Power Known to Humanity

Registered: 01/17/13
Posts: 14546
Loc: Grand-M├ętis, Quebec, Canada
It has to be scary and also disgusting. For me when I am scared but not disgusting it is just suspense not horror. Without gore then it cannot be horror (for me anyway but since the word of that genre is horror then im sure im right in the description of what horror is supposed to be).

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