Tag Archives: horror

The Word: 5 Tips That Will Improve Your Stories and Writing

Many people struggle with writing, I get it sometime it gets hard, but never give up! Here is a list on how to improve your storytelling! These are tips I have shared for years to help everyone wanting to write stories or even improve their literary role-playing and storytelling. It’s time to bust out your thesaurus or your online dictionaries for what they were meant for!


5. Research

The saying goes: write what you know. I agree fully, but what about everyone else that love writing new things, things they may not know? To that I say: write what you know because research will teach you. If you’re unsure of something fully exhaust yourself researching about a subject. Of course, go fully legal in your research and harm no one.

4. Comparing

The best way for a writer to explain something is to compare it to something more familiar. Recently, I wrote a short story and inside of it I described a UFO as a ‘silver donut’ Seems very simple, but you now know exactly what I’m talking about right.

It’s good to be descriptive, but sometimes simple gets the job done. If you’re writing descriptively enough throughout the story comparing something unfamiliar to something that is recognizable is a great way for the reader to see in their mind what you’re trying to convey.

3. Know Your Characters/World

The best way to write a character or world is to fully flush them out. It may be tedious, but it can help very much during writing. This is also where the jokes authors make of ‘my character wouldn’t let me’ or ‘they told me how they felt’ come in. It’s from, I hope, them flushing out personalities, histories, and all of that before hand.

Ask yourself questions and answer them. Who is this man or woman? Did they overcome what they went through? Did it damage them in anyway? This is also good for world building.

Fully flush out everything, enough of everything at least. I’ve met writers that have gone above and beyond creating interesting worlds and some that have done enough.

2. Pull From Your Own Emotions

This seems easy enough, but sometimes isn’t utilized properly. I have become well known for my ’emotionally driven writing style’ and the secret is this. If I’m writing something more horrific than what I’ve been through I use how I felt to write what it is and try and add upon it.

For example: I’ve never been possessed, but I’ve written about it (Human Ouija, The Blasphemer Series: Harvest, and The Painting of Martel depict different styles of possession). I imagine the worse possible feelings I’ve gone through, wrote them, and then thought more about the character’s situation. Feeling invaded, feeling overwhelmed, and perhaps confused.

1. Remember Your Five Aristotelian Senses

The key to really pulling someone into your story and improving your own writing is remembering the 5 ‘traditional’ senses (also known as the Five Aristotelian Senses). These are touch, taste, hearing, seeing, and smell.

Ask yourself questions.

Touch/Feeling – Is it cold? How does this character feel about that? Can they feel the warmth of their coat or perhaps they feel the chill because they’re not properly dressed. Perhaps your character has picked up something, how did that object feel. You can even describe simply if it was heavy or lighter than expected.

Tasting – Is the food salty or sweet? Did that cause them to moan enjoying the flavor? Say they were hit in the mouth, what did the taste of the blood against the taste buds of their tongue taste like? Perhaps they expected something to taste delicious because it appeared that way, but sadly it was disgusting. You can describe the disgusting flavors, why it was disgusting to that character. How did the food look before they tasted it?

Hearing – If the scene is ‘quiet’ can the character hear the buzzing of the air against their eardrums? Perhaps they do and it’s interrupted by a sudden noise. How did they react to it? Was it a familiar sound of another character coming home or a stranger breaking in? Did they hear glass shattering of a window or a door’s wood breaking when it was kicked in?

Seeing – So much of the story can be based on what is seen or describing a scene in such a way the reader can see it too. Things can be bright, blinding bright, or dark and dim. It is, for me, one of the first descriptors as it puts color to the moment.

Smelling – Smell is said to be the strongest of our senses linked to memories. They can take us to our grandmother’s house because she baked a lot or even to a sad memory of losing someone. For example: After a funeral many bring food to the family that has lost someone. Perhaps in this situation your character cannot stand the smell of pies because they remember losing their mother.

There are all kinds of scents. Sweet, nasty, or something that reminds me of our favorite memories. Apply those to your writing. Did the apple smell delicious or has it rot? You can even mix smelling with feeling and go the route of the air smelt clean and cold. You see? Mixing the senses creates a dynamic surrounding for your character and will add to the world they’re in.

You can even go into how the smell made your character feel. Did the burger joint’s smells make your character hungry or sick because it was overpowering? Use this!

There are more senses, you can learn about them here and here. I recommend this as it can help even further!


YOUR TURN

What did you think? Did this help? Have anything to add to the list above? Do you want me to do more examples? Perhaps show these tips in action?

28 DoBR: Maxwell Demon by L. Bachman

This book is a shameless plug, but it’s a book. Maxwell Demon is the first book in my series The Blasphemer Series. The synopsis is merely the squishing down summarizing of how deep this story goes. When writing it I cried, I laughed, and really enjoyed the process that, for most writers, is never seen, but if written right the readers can pick up emotionally. The reviews say I wrote it well, but I leave it up to you, the person that may pick up the novella, to determine if you enjoyed my writing style.

This book in my words is a story about a fallen angel that fell in love with the first woman, Lilith, and fought in the Clash of Angels, but on the wrong side. He didn’t accept his punishment, being sent to Hell and the mutilation of his wings, and found himself a way back to Earth. He learned that Lilith too was punished but with reincarnation forever to live and die until she learns why she was punished. He believes if he can find her and help her learn then he can prove redemption and forgiveness is possible, even for her.

His has found her many times, but always too late. He has seen the soulmate die many times and in many ways. This book is her last life recorded, he learns that she will be given no more lives and she will be doomed to Hell, the place for the truly unforgivable. Maxwell goes to Hell when she is kidnapped, he goes through a mythical fantasy realm full of fairies, talking trees, and mythical creatures, and Earth to help her.

It’s more of a dark fantasy story with horror elements than a horror piece. There are references to so many creatures, here’s a small list of them that are in this book and this series:

  • Angels
  • Demons
  • Vampires
  • Werewolves
  • Fallen Angels
  • Witches
  • Fairies
  • Talking Trees
  • Unicorns
  • Boogeyman
  • Ghosts/Spirits

Synopsis:

Maxwell, an angel who fell from Heaven for his part in the corruption of mankind walks a plane of uncertainty on Earth. He was unwilling to fully accept his damnation, so he set out on a mission to save the soul of the woman he loves, Lilith. Now, more than a millennium has passed, and this is his last chance to save her and prove that no one soul is beyond redemption. 
From the gates of Heaven to the fires of Hell he has traveled to save her. He is bound to her by his heart and he will face the ones he once called brothers to rescue her. He will complete this mission.

She is now known as Adele, with no remembrance of him, their love, her betrayal, and it is up to him to show her that her life is worth more than she could ever imagine. He rediscovers why he fell in love with her and along the way, wages war against Hells greatest demons to remind her.

Who is destined to die? Who is destined to live? Who is the real enemy? Is one soul worth the world?

Go Read it! A World without Horror is at Horrortree

My article, A World without Horror, for Horror Tree, is up! Go there to read the full article.

“Sit back, inhale with your nose, and exhale through your mouth. Now that you’re in a better more comfortable position I want you to do something for me. Imagine for a moment, if you will, a world without horror.
Now that you’re picturing it in your mind’s eye you’ve probably imagined a world without wars, starving children, or intolerance. You may have pictured an ideal location–a utopia if you will, of bliss and happiness. With skies above the shades of the palest of blues and the most romantic of pinks and purples. Clouds dotting along ignorant of anything other than peace and calm, even ignoring the blazing brilliance of a sun rising or perhaps setting depending on the mood upon which you’re imaging. Now that you have pictured this beautiful moment in time, you’re also picturing a world of unadulterated fantasy.
Horror is born of the darkness that rises after the sun sets.” 

by L. Bachman – A World without horror at Horrortree.com

28 DoBR: The Essential Tales of H.P. Lovecraft by H. P. Lovecraft

Sometimes I just need to have a book to fill like I’m truly adding to my collection. This is one of those books for me. Will I ever finish adding to my library? Nope! I had grabbed a book from H.P. Lovecraft on seeing others on social media talking about him. I was aware of who he was, but sadly had never read any of his work. 

That book was purchased for my Kindle ereader, but I’m also a big lover of a book I can hold in my hands, hardback or paperback. If it wasn’t for the purchase of that book I probably never would’ve bought today’s recommendation.

This is a great addition to any horror library or Lovecraft fan. I don’t feel it’s needed to go into it further because the work speaks far better than any words I could muster. 

Synopsis:

Discover the true meaning of fear with these classic horror stories.

The Essential Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft collects one of the author’s most popular novellas, “At the Mountain of Madness,” and six of his most famous short stories, including “The Call of Cthulhu,” “The Shadow Out of Time,” “The Dunwich Horror,” “The Colour of Space,” “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” and “The Whisperer in the Darkness.” These hair-raising tales have inspired generations of authors and filmmakers, including Stephen King, Alan Moore, Guillermo del Toro, and Neil Gaiman. This edition features a new introduction by Peter Cannon.

The Knickerbocker Classics bring together the essential works of classic authors from around the world in stunning editions to be collected and enjoyed.

What is WIHM?

The Official description is: Women in Horror Month (WiHM) is an international, grassroots initiative, which encourages supporters to learn about and showcase the underrepresented work of women in the horror industries. Whether they are on the screen, behind the scenes, or contributing in their other various artistic ways, it is clear that women love, appreciate, and contribute to the horror genre. (This is taken from the official website.)

My understanding of it is:  Women in Horror Month is a month-long celebration that occurs every February. It celebrates women in all areas of horror. Why? Well, many have different thoughts but from my understanding, from the writer’s aspect of it, it’s to celebrate women that love horror and create it. Many believe that again from my understanding, that women ‘just can’t write horror very well’, but I believe that to be such an outdated and misogynist outlook on writing and other creative avenues in this day and age.
There are many that love horror and want to celebrate. Whether talking about their loves of the genre or sharing someone they love that creates in it whether officially jumping on the bandwagon or unofficially. Official? Unofficial? What does that mean? Well, there is an actual website that talks way more about all of this, more than I could post here.

A bit more personal: I personally have grown to love this genre. I began my writing career not realizing I was writing horror. My mindset was, it wasn’t scaring me so this isn’t horror but turns out through talking with other authors/writers, it was horror/thriller in many ways. Now, I don’t just write horror, but I’ve come to accept that my art and my writing can fall into this area more often times than not.
My mindset was, it wasn’t scaring me so this isn’t horror, but turns out through talking with other authors/writers, it was horror/thriller in many ways. Now, I don’t just write horror, but I’ve come to accept that my art and my writing can fall into this area more often times than not.

The Women in Horror Month Website

It is great. It even links to events, meetups, and all the ways to find a horror creator that is a woman or men celebrating the women! Ain’t that great? I was invited many years ago to take part in this and in some shape or form, I have done just that.
This year marks the tenth year of celebrating! Go to the link above and find out how much is going on and perhaps find something to get involved in…I highly recommend it.

SFA – Last Day for Preorders

Today is a big day! It’s the last day to order Southern Fried Autopsies, it releases officially tomorrow!

A collection of horror stories and dark poetry. Out tomorrow on Amazon! Every purchase you will help us in raising money that will be donated to Feeding America.

Southern Fried Autopsies: An Anthology

Southern Fried…
Not necessarily an odd term if you live in the south or have visited the southern states of the US. In the south, we have monster trucks, lots of fishing, hunting, beaches, humidity, peaches, and a whole slew of stories that happened during the time of Northern Aggression. But what was Southern Fried? What does that really mean? It was once referred to as something, typically some kind of dead animal, that was battered, crispy, deep-fried in oil, and while tasted incredible, was artery clogging and blood pressure rising food. Not anymore.

Now Southern Fried has been attached to a set of autopsies and those files were placed in this incredible collection.
Short stories that will test your knowledge of the southern way of thinking, the southern charm, the hospitality, and the tales all by authors that have ties to the area, or still live here. Southern Fried Autopsies is sure to raise your levels to unsafe highs as you dive right in with both feet to the deep end.

Y’all come right on over, ya hear?

With contributions, stories, and poetry from P Mattern, Mark Slade, Kerry Alan Denney, DS Roland, P. Mattern, Rollin Jewett, L Bachman, SL Kerns, Edd Sowder, Patricia Stover, TJ Weeks, Thomas Vaughn, Cindy Johnson, DC Phillips, Kris Weeks, Olin Wish, John L Davis IV, Donna Owens, Veronica Smith, Mirren Hogan, David Johnson, and James Master.

Crossroads in the Dark IV: Ghosts

If you’d like to help support suicide prevention for World Suicide Prevention Day, Pre-order the Crossroads in the Dark IV: Ghosts charity anthology from Burning Willow Press on Amazon. Proceeds will go to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline ‘1-800-273-TALK (8255)’https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H4WTJR5/

SYNOPSIS
You attend a funeral of a friend, one who decided that living was no longer an option. That night, you feel a slight tickle on the back of your neck. Shrugging it off as an overactive imagination, you try to ignore it, yet it persists. You turn to look for the menacing thing bothering you, and nothing is there. Not even a shadow. In the far reaches of your sight, you start to make out a familiar figure ascending from the darkest corner of your room. You reach for the lamp beside you, but hit it, knocking it to the floor. Your fear begins to rise, as do the hair on your neck. A familiar voice pleads with you… “Why didn’t you hear me…?

Welcome back to the Crossroads.

Crossroads in the Dark IV: GHOSTS is a collection of short stories developed in hopes of bringing awareness to suicide prevention around the world. While the stories do not tell of suicide, they do speak of GHOSTS. Who are the ghosts that haunt us daily? What are the remains of an otherwise perfect life ended far too soon? Which are the people who we find hardest to move forward from when we lose them? The easy answer is, the ones we failed to save.

#InTheSeries
Crossroads in the Dark: Anthology of Morality
Amazon US: http://bit.ly/critd-i
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/critd-i-bn

Crossroads in the Dark II: Urban Legends
Amazon US: http://bit.ly/critd-ii
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/critd-ii-bn

Crossroads in the Dark III: Monsters Under Your Bed
Amazon US: http://bit.ly/critd-iii
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/critd-iii-bn

#worldsuicidepreventionday #preorder#experiencebwp #goodbook #critd4 #anthology#charity #suicideprevention

 

Pre-order Now! Harvest is live!

Pre-order on Amazon here

New Synopsis:

Dante’s life consisted of living off of the royalties of commissioned art, and the occasional blackout from something undiagnosed. That is until his grandfather passes. Shortly after, he is approached by an apparent collector, who turns his word much darker than he ever believed. He finds he is not merely a painter but so much more than that. He has a gift of sight beyond what is normal… and he is not the only one.
Briar, one of the chosen gifted, receives a desperate message from a village in another mythical realm that something evil is attacking them. She is to be there only hope of survival with the help of other supernatural beings they must face an evil dark witch and her army of minions.
Imogene has been running away from her gift her entire life and drowns the sorrow of her past in bottles of alcohol. Now with her past coming back to face her once more, she has to pull from her inner strength to survive.
The end has just begun in this exciting follow up to Maxwell Demon.