Disappearances and horror awaits 19 year old Lacey as she when she attempts to reunite with her cousins at her aunt’s falling-apart country estate one dark Thanksgiving Eve…
As a writer, I really want to start branching out of my comfort zone. Fantasy and family adventures are fun but I want practice in other genres. Since falling in love with Booktrack Studio, I joined their Halloween short story contest and wrote A Holiday Nightmare for the occasion. While I’ve neither seen nor read the horror genre (and don’t intend to start!) and did I have fun pretending I knew what I was doing
I’ve rated it PG (not PG-13 but PG) and I actually would like to give caution that the experience of both reading the story and hearing the sounds and music may be disturbing to some. Seriously, I wrote this with the attempt to scare, that’s what horror is. But for those with a brave heart, I would love to hear your feedback on how I did with my first ever attempt at horror.
I learned quite a bit while on this project. When I discovered about the contest, I immediately Googled for articles about writing good horror and found it quite educational. I learned it’s important to keep up suspense and speed of your story–I ended up cutting a lot of dialogue out of my story because it hindered the suspense. I learned that powerful horror means showing a little but hiding more and I found this helpful because your imagination will make things worse on their own without me having to write gore and guts. I learned to never tell the reader that they should be afraid–that just ruins everything, so I hope I was able to avoid that. I had already learned this but it was good to be reminded to tell back story through dialogue and not the narrative. Keeps it way more engaging and interesting instead of turning the story into a biography.
I also put a lot of thought into making the opening as grabbing and engaging as possible without the rather cliched action scene where someone is running through a forest/house/away from-something-scary scene. Lol.
I love writing and I now love bringing that writing to life on Booktrack. While it takes methodical work to place the sound effects and music just right, the final effect is powerful and amazing. I love placing a thunder clap over a passage of words for emphasis or timing the music just right so that it helps guide you to the right emotions throughout the story. While it does take extra time, I look forward to writing more short stories for competitions in the future. 🙂
Booktrack Sudio is only available on Google Chrome (which is an amazing web browser and is what I use and highly recommend.)