10 Tips and Tricks for Writing a Horror Novel

10 Tips and Tricks for Writing a Horror Novel

The thrill, the feeling of your blood rising, the sweat and anxiety as you wait for what happens next. You get the adrenaline rush as if you were the actor about to fall over a cliff. It is one thing to watch horror movies, but the experience you get from reading these books surpasses the venture of watching the film. How these writers bring out all these emotions and reactions in me as I read horror stories has always been a baffling wonder. Mastering how to pair words and create a lasting effect requires patience, research, and study. If you can dream it, then you can do it. The following are tips on how to be an immaculate horror novel writer.

  • Think like a child.

Considering children do not like horror stories, this statement may feel very misleading. I insinuate that you must be as simple as possible. The best horror stories revolve around our daily endeavors. Avoid complicated stories and unheard-of horrors. Tap into the common fear that most people share. For example, your horror could be based on the fear of snakes, spiders, monsters, and supernatural beings. It may also be about stigmatized social tensions. 

  • Build the right atmosphere.

If you want to leave your reader fixated on your story and filled with goosebumps, you must adequately cultivate your atmosphere. The atmosphere of your narrative depends on the type of horror you choose to write about. Imagery is critical in this sector. Words are like roses. When used well, they are very appealing and bright. However, when used callously, they may cause ugly bruises when they prick. Utilize the tools of imagery to create the right atmosphere for your audience. Your writing must be potent to yourself and your writer. If you manage to creep yourself out, then you’ve understood your assignment.

  • Give your audience a chance to know the characters.

Films evoke a lot of emotions from their audiences. When you are almost thirty minutes into a movie, drawing the line on various characters is easy. At this point, you can decide on your favorite and least favorite characters. This is because a lot of work was put into portraying the characters. As an author, you must give your audience a fair chance to know your characters. Involve your readers emotionally in your character’s fate and let them correlate with them at a personal level.

  • Be subtle in your foreshadowing.

I recently watched a movie called Fractured, and I would highly recommend it. It has been a while since I watched a movie that impressed me that much. The film may not closely fit in the category of horror movies. The reason why this movie was that impressive is that its ending was highly unpredictable. There’s no fun in watching a movie you can quickly predict. Create suspense all through the film. Ensure a couple of events will send your reader screaming in anticipation. Be subtle.

  • Leave room for your reader’s imagination.

Our minds run very tumultuously at night. This is probably why most people prefer watching horror movies at night. Sometimes, our greatest fears are often in our imagination. How the heap of clothes on your seat turns into a ghost at night is incomprehensible. Trying to convince yourself otherwise has also proven problematic. Our minds have mastered the art of creating horrific imaginations in various situations. It is also fair to allow the reader to form his fantasies as he reads. Give the room to permit the dreams to be as wild as possible because we may never fail to scare ourselves once given a chance.

  • Disorient reality. 

Have you ever wondered why most horror stories circulate psychiatric and mental hospitals or involve characters who have lost grip with their mental state? Now that I’ve mentioned it, I am sure it has occurred to you that 80% of the horror movies you have watched involve that. Most horror stories are set on fictional stories and characters. They include thinking outside reality and finding exhilarating, unrealistic events that are petrifying. The simple thought of losing one’s ability to understand what’s happening around them in a disorienting, distorted reality is enough to send many thinking readers over the edge in absolute fear.

  • Consider your point of view.

A journey of a thousand miles embarks with a single step. Novel writing starts from excellent essay writing. Nothing teaches you about points of view like essays. To become a legendary horror writer, you must first become a pro essay writer. Just like essay writing, novel writing is about telling a story. The difference is we enjoy novels more than essays. If novel writing is your passion, you may also consider professional writing services.


Choose the point of view you want to write from, whether first, second, or third person. However, when writing horror, you’ll want to avoid third-person omni-science, which can distance your reader and lessen their investment in the story.

  • Think out of the box.

Not every horror story must have vampires or other scary supernatural beings. It would not harm to add a little spice and change the narrative from the standard norm. Cut the cliche and be as imaginative as possible. Expert essay writers at AdvancedWriters are ready to offer any help in tapping into your creative side. Take advantage and make yourself better.

An academic writing expert, Joan Young, states that the world is a canvas for your imagination, and you are the painter. 

  • Remember the basics.

A horror novel is a narration like any other. Every narration must follow basic techniques, so ensure you are not carried away by the horror. It would help if you involved the storyline of what challenges the protagonist must overcome, consequences of various actions, decisions that may have landed the protagonist in multiple situations, to mention a few. 

  • Play around with tight spaces.

Many people have claustrophobia. There is always that fear that runs in you when you imagine yourself in small confinement alone. Claustrophobia triggers a basic evolutionary impulse to escape and makes breathing shallower. It makes the heart rate increase. Therefore, playing around with tight spaces may create the horror you seek to achieve. The audience connects with the story emotionally, putting themselves in the character’s shoes, and voilà! There is your horror.


It sometimes appears as if all the horror stories have already been written. However, following the tips offered in this article is a sure way to write impeccable copy. Having read this guide will push you one step closer to writing the best horror story.

You may also like...