Idea for horror story

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by macjakob, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. macjakob macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2006
    Hey everybody,

    So, I have to write this horror story (english paper), but I'm having trouble coming up with something to write about.

    I was thinking more in the lines of a psychological horror/thriller than a splatter-one with blood all over the place. Something psychologically 'disgusting'...

    What storyline would really give the reader the shivers from reading it? Maybe something they would be able to relate to, during everyday life – maybe terrorism?

    One of my ideas was a desert/mountains/jungle where a group of people go hiking (in the mountain scenario), they get lost, have no cellphones (the story could be set some 30 years ago?), and slowly one by one die, being angry but ultimately accepting death etc?

    All inputs are greatly appereciated,


  2. Roger1 macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2002
    What about that noise you keep hearing? You know, the one nobody else ever hears?
  3. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

    Jan 30, 2004
    having a drink at Milliways
    how long does it have to be?

    it's easier if you keep it contemporary, because you can relate/describe it better.

    and you can have it that your party do have their cells, but they just suddenly cease to work (which is a scary preposition in itself for the younger generations), as well as their cars, ipods (scary enough? :)) and anything electric/electronic.

    the only smoker in the group is normally a pariah for it, but now he slowly raises in status because he is the only with a lighter.

    tension grows within the group as helps does not arrive.

    weird, unexplained stuff happens (not too weird, mean or graphic or they'll get social services involved). you should have an idea of 'what' causes the problem, but DO NOT explain it in the story, not even at the end.

    oh, and post it when it's done.
  4. chrismac00 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 17, 2007
    You need something that will really get attention and blood and horror things like that would really make it interesting so good choice. You could right about someone who finds out that they are going to be murdered in a short amount of time and explain what is going through their head and their thoughts about what is going to happen and then write about the actual happenings from the victims point of view. It could be kinda like a chase into the forest with knives and stuff that will really make people bleed.

    Just trying to help by the way. :D
  5. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    As long as you follow the cardinal rule: the virgin stays alive. :p:D

    Seriously, the most "thrill" is when you don't know what's happening.

    Also, don't go with the cliché of an abandoned amusement park or camping, etc. You should pick an entirely new setting to freak people out (nothing like creating a new paradigm eh? ;) :D).
  6. McGiord, Mar 25, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011

    McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    Your characters went on a happy caribbean vacations and then place the story in the Colombian-Venezuelan border: narcs, FARCS, guerilla, military, chavistas, local people, etc... There you'll have all the terrains you want.
    Mazda Sentia
  7. Gelfin macrumors 68020


    Sep 18, 2001
    Denver, CO
    If your characters are in the mountains, their cell phones will already be surprisingly unreliable. "Lost in the woods" is a bit of a cliché setting, though.
  8. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

    Apr 10, 2003
    The "Garden" state
    Definitely try drawing on a new location than "lost in the woods" or make it some sort of twist; the monsters are running from the humans, or something like that. It will be more interesting to read and more entertaining to write. :)
  9. macmama macrumors regular


    Nov 26, 2006
    New Jersey
    I don't think the horror scenario has to be original, per se, as long as the writing is good. Is this assignment to think of something really creative, or to hone your writing chops?

    Have you read works of horror? If so, what are some common elements that you can emulate?

    One of my favorite horror stories, btw, is The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. I recommend it, if you haven't read it. It's not too long, either!
  10. Lunja macrumors 6502


    May 15, 2005
    Lincoln UK
    Exactly. Cloverfield? Scariest thing I've seen in a long time! And it does it by not really showing you the cause of the terror. People are always more afraid of what they can't see, hence why so many are afraid of the dark.

    I have no idea how you're going to utilise this in writing by the way - I'm a film guy :p
  11. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

    Jan 14, 2007
    Waking up during a surgery but not being able to move because you have been administered neural blockers.
  12. macjakob thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2006
    Thank you so much everyone for you great tips!

    Don't panic: About 3-4 pages.

    McGiord: I like the idea of the people getting captured by guerillas

    All of your tips have been written down, and will definitely come in handy.

    If anyone has more ideas, please post! :)

    Thanks again,
  13. furcalchick macrumors 68020


    Dec 19, 2006
    South Florida
    i had this dream the other night where i went into a hotel (i think it was in orlando), went up to the 83rd floor, and the top floor was this galactic type setting (where you see stars and the milky way type thing), and when you step out of the elevator, you fall straight down, like a free-falling elevator to a hotel floor which is really mysterious. first of all, you can't get out, all of the windows are either pitched black or made of some sort of crystal, but you get all the cable and internet you want at blazing speeds in each room, and i met up with a bunch of folks, including a few famous ones. we were trying to figure out how to get out of the hotel, as all of the elevators were broken, and the stairs were in a loop, so you ended up in the same floor over again. trying to reach the outside was of little use, your emails became unreadable to the outside world, no messages you wrote got through correctly and you wouldn't know it.

    nobody died in my dream though, we all somehow got out alive, but i thought that would be a good premise for the story.
  14. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    I'm currently on hold on a phone call to Apple regarding an issue with my Time Capsule.

    And had been for the past hour.

  15. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    1. Let the reader know exactly what's coming, but keep the characters in the dark. It worked for Hitchcock time & time again.

    2. "Blood and gore" are not horror, they're shock (and not so much that anymore), and as such a cop-out to good writing. Less is more.

    3. Make ordinary things unexpectedly adversarial. But not so much as to be silly (killer teddy bears).

    4. Make the reader able to see themselves in the situation (identify with the protagonist). Kill all the wrong people (see Alien).

    5. Use red herrings--judiciously. Set up a character obviously, let them survive to discover the "safe" character disemboweled, or something else fun.

    6. No Happy Endings.

    If you giggle at all the wrong places, and refuse to go to bed after you've read it, you know it's worked.
  16. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    That was no dream, I think I stayed there once. Room service sucked, too.
  17. comictimes macrumors 6502a


    Jun 20, 2004
    Berkeley, California
    You could do something along the lines of the book "Blindness" in which one person goes blind then the people he comes in contact with immediately afterwards also go blind, etc. There's a lot more to the book of course but just as an idea for a short horror story I think that sort of thing is decent :p

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