The Horror! THE HORROR! A Writing Exercise on How to Scare Readers

BRIDGET WHELAN writer

(Horror fiction) shows us that the control we believe we have is purely illusory, and that every moment we teeter on chaos and oblivion – Clive Barker

EVERY SATURDAY for the month of January I’ve shared exercises from my popular writing guideBack To Creative Writing School. This is the last one and it’s an extract from a much longer exercise in the book. I hope you…well, perhaps enjoy isn’t quite the right word.

Karl Albrecht writing in Psychology Today in March 2012 described five basic fears from which all our other fears stem.

Extinction – fear of annihilation, of ceasing to exist. The most basic and the most universal, but it also includes a range of more specific fears, such as a fear of heights.

Mutilation – including the fear of being invaded, taken over. It also includes phobias about animals and insects.

Loss of Autonomy – fear…

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