Tag Archives: horror

Writing Horror Chills and Thrills

I’m a sucker for all things scary. Except for zombies. Those freak me out a bit too much. As one of the YA Scream Queens, I’m privvy to a variety of YA horror novels and I find it fascinating that out stories are so different and yet all have the same intention: to unnerve our readers in some way.

Horror is so subjective, and that makes it–like comedy–a very hard genre to write. What terrifies one reader gets a “Meh” reaction from another. When my agent has had my work on submission, I had one editor say they just didn’t find the story that frightening and another editor said she had to sleep with the lights on and still had nightmares.

Because of the subjectivity of scariness, I approach writing horror in this way: write what scares you. If you the author are legitimately unnerved and ready to jump out of your skin when writing a horror scene, that energy will translate into the story. I remember writing one scene in a project that had me so disturbed that I had to turn on more lights and walk away from the computer to check the windows several times when writing it–and every single one of my crit partners and my agent pointed to that scene as being scarier than all get out. I wrote something that frightened me, the author. Even though it was my creation, it scared me, and my unease bled into the page.

And when you go back to revise those scene, don’t wince. Don’t soften the scare. Timing is everything, and tone is important, too. But if you are unsettled, your readers will be, and that is the ultimate goal of any horror novel.

THE GIRL FROM THE WELL emerges today!

Ready to get seriously creeped out? Good! Rin Chupeco has a little something for you.

Today we’re celebrating the launch of Rin’s THE GIRL FROM THE WELL, a book that is as scary as it is insightful. Here’s there word from Goodreads:

girlfromthewellYou may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night.

A dead girl walks the streets.

She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.

Because the boy has a terrifying secret – one that would just kill to get out.

The Girl from the Well is A YA Horror novel pitched as “Dexter” meets “The Grudge”, based on a well-loved Japanese ghost story.

~

You’re ready to get this, right? Good news! You can find it at Indiebound, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and pretty much wherever books are sold!

Here’s what some other young adult writers have to say:

vigilantepoets“I confess–I was creeped out just by reading the description. If you’re looking for a chilling story with some serious literary chops (starred PW review!), THE GIRL FROM THE WELL is the book for you!”

– Kate Hattemer, author of THE VIGILANTE POETS OF SELWYN ACADEMY

wordless“It doesn’t get much better than “Dexter” meets “The Grudge” as far as what I look for in a horror novel. I love the international setting, and the voice sounds so unique and powerful–I can’t wait to read this!”

– AdriAnne Strickland, WORDLESS

b2ap3_thumbnail_Gilded_final-cvr-comp_12-11-13“THE GIRL FROM THE WELL sounds creepy in the best possible way. I love how diverse and unique this book sounds. This book is going to be one thrilling, chilling ride.”
– Christina Farley, GILDED and SILVERN (forthcoming)

“An eerie YA horror reminiscent of movies like TOne for sorrow, two for joy A destructive girl, a damaged boy Click to see largerhe Grudge and The Ring, THE GIRL FROM THE WELL is sure to scare you senseless!”

– Sarah Bromley, A MURDER OF MAGPIES

DREAM BOY by Mary Crockett and Madelyn Rosenberg“‘I am where dead children go.’ Holy crap! I’ll be reading this one with all the lights on throughout the house!”

– Mary Crockett, DREAM BOY