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.