Tag Archives: Horror

INKSPILL 2018 Guest Writer Workshop with Kate Garrett – Fear of the Known


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Fear of the Known

What scares you?

The other day my husband remarked that horror films and books, as clever and dark as they are, usually don’t write about the mundane things that really scare and disgust people – aging, speaking in public, listening to people chew, answering telephones, bananas… all the seemingly normal things that get to us in our day to day lives.

So what I would love to see is this:

pick one of your everyday fears – or if you are truly fearless, try to imagine what it would be like to be afraid of a commonplace thing – and write a poem about it in the vein of real hauntings-and-monsters-and-slashers horror.

person woman dark girl

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INKSPILL Spooktastic – Writing Exercise #4




It doesn’t seem right having this weekend retreat so close to Halloween and not include an opportunity for some Horror writing.

Writing Exercise #4 – Mysterious/Scary

A murder has taken place in a cabin in the middle of a snowy field.  Your character finds three sets of footsteps entering the cabin, but none leaving.  Apart from the victim, no one else seems to be there.  What is going on?



Calling all Horror/ Supernatural Writers – I need your HELP!


I am new to this genre, I know that the basic advice any writer gives is read, read, read and write about what you know.

The problem there is my vivid imagination, I have challenged myself to read 3 horror books and each time found bile actually rising in my throat!

I have friends who have read Stephen King (bow to the Master) since the age of 12; I guess I am just a scaredy cat.

I have researched around the genre in a technical/ craft type way. I also recently wrote a Friday Fictioneers Flash (100 words) receiver reception find it here. It started life as a 1000 short story, I have been prompted to write more and I envisage writing a serial of flashes to complete the whole story.

 I have read many bloggers who are experts in scaring me with their posts and excerpts and now I need your help, please!

 The following extract is a ‘writing exercise’ hence it’s formulaic and a little stilted I think, or too formal. I offer it to you for open critique – I would really appreciate feedback on this. What it feels like as a reader, how I can improve it. I am a novice in this field. Please post your advice on improving it – what works – what doesn’t…etc




I reach the clearing just as the light begins to fade; I have an hour or so before darkness will prevent me from going further. I stand still to check the area. It is not as big as I had hoped, trees dominate one side and my view beyond is blocked. It has snowed heavily this high up. The only sign of man is a small, wooden bench. It is covered in a thick layer of snow. No one has been this close to the woods in a while. The snow is deep and I can’t see any tracks or footprints nearby. I am exposed on three sides, but if no one has made it up the hill this far I should be safe.

Beyond the bench the wood seems quiet. Almost dead. The spindly trees are dressed in snow and I can see through them further than I hoped. The first six trees deep give me a clear vision of the edge of the wood. It’s a pity I can’t see any further.  I know I need cover, out here I am exposed, visible. I assess the wood, the trees are too thin to offer much protection and I don’t know what lies beyond, deeper in the woods. I am better off out here.

I shiver as a sudden cold chill slices through me, a twig snaps. The sound pierces the silence. I stand as still as I can, holding my breath. Frozen. I feel dizzy as my flickering eyes try to cover all ground, my throat is tight, and I daren’t swallow. It’s hard to see in this dim light, I am snow blind.

Slowly I crouch down in the snow, making myself smaller. I need to see this from another level. It had to be an animal.