Horror fiction is a genre that has lasted the ages, transcended generations and left a mark in literary history.

From Bram Stoker to Stephen King, horror writers have left a mark on the literary scene and resonated with readers all around. So much so that readers are left turning on their light at night to ward away the dark.
Which, let’s be honest, is part of the fun.

Here are 4 of our favourite tips for making writing terrifying your readers:

Maintain mystery to maintain fear

Fear of the unknown is a longstanding part of the human condition. We fear what we can’t understand it and it is a pivotal step in creating a truly horrifying read. There should be a reason for the horror in your story, but as soon as you rationalize and wrap up the mystery, your readers will stop being afraid.

Build up to your reveal

While you need to maintain mystery, you need to also be sure that your audience stays interested by giving them subtle hints and plot revelations along the way. By giving hints, you flame the fires of fear but don’t burn your story out in one fell swoop.

Bring the fear closer to home

If you want to increase fear, you can use symbols that are familiar to your reader, which increases the possibility that this could be a reality in their minds. Just think of Stephen King’s IT which uses clowns and focuses on the individual

Find your own niche 

Creating your own voice when writing is a trick in itself. While you may be influenced by others, you don’t want to be imitating others. Begin your own niche in horror based on the things that would most scare you, which will allow you to create your own brand of horror.

Don’t forget, we’re here to help. If you have a book in the works and want to see it in print, contact us at Selfpublishbooks.ie and we can go through our different options for publishing, editing, design and proofreading.