So you want to write a horror novel? That’s great! You must have some exquisite nightmares stored away in that head of yours that are dying to get out. Even if you don’t the horror genre can be just as basic as the rest of them, as all you need to do is beat feet down to the same pool where the authors dip their toes or dive in headfirst and partake of the ideas that come swimming to the surface. Careful though when deciding what you want to do, as what might materialize could be something you’re not quite ready for. Does that sound crazy? Good, it’s supposed to.
The masters of horror know what it takes to grab your every last nerve and tweak them individually in an effort to get you to squirm, to toss and turn, and to even scream if you feel the need. They’ll find ways to make you look over your shoulder whether it’s night or day, and you’ll swear that the sounds you hear in your home are not at all natural thanks to their words and the manner by which they describe something as innocuous as an empty room.
Ready for the trip into madness? Okay then!
Just remember, chaos breeds horror, while order gives it that much-needed edge.
Chaos is everywhere within a horror novel as it can be in front and driving the story with a logical base that keeps it on track, or it can have a chaotic lean that is finally honed into that much needed logical point that pulls everything together. In any case horror will cause chaos in just about any story, no matter if it’s well-controlled and hidden away, or if it’s in your face and trying to eat your spleen while you’re still breathing. The act of creating horror doesn’t need to be one specific method, as there are many upon many ways to scare people and insure that their dreams will be the stuff of nightmares.
Embrace the nightmares, as they ARE your inspiration.
Never be afraid of your own darkness when it comes to getting it out and onto the page. Don’t be ashamed if you are, as some of us harbor secrets, desires, and shadows within the depths of our soul that are terrifying to unearth. But in order to make a horror novel into something truly special it is best to uncover those shades, demons, devils, and other ill-mannered beasts that exist within the human soul to take advantage of them and allow their inspiration to flow onto the page. The story you write will be as dark and as tormented as you make it, but with horror the more disturbing it is the more likely your readers will want to partake.
Plus, it can be rather therapeutic in a way if you really look at it.
Always go for the WTF moment.
With a horror novel you WANT your audience getting creeped out. You want them to read the book and then jump at every sound, as though someone is trying to sneak into their home or a gateway to hell is opening up right behind them. The goal of horror is not to coddle or even guide the reader, it’s to shock the living hell out of them and then grab them back with a logical segue into something pertinent to the story. Then go ahead and shock them again, and again, and again until you think they can’t take it anymore.
Then do it again.
Writing a horror novel isn’t much different than any other book to be honest, but in this case you’re actively trying to get the person to keep flipping those pages no matter that their heart might be racing and their eyes peeled, looking out for the next shock their imagination is going to serve up.