Word of the Day Challenge: Chilling
The two videos I’ve selected for my post are examples of my favorite suspense/ horror short story formats.
The first format goes straight for a major artery- because if that doesn’t get your attention nothing will.
If you are going to use this technique in prose or film, you have to go straight for a pressure point and plunge right in. No pussy footing around.
The subject in the first video is a child- it’s a quick way to get the blood pounding because who doesn’t have a visceral reaction to a child in danger? Even if you don’t have one, or like them, you used to be one so you get it.
That aside, finding a way to connect with your viewer or reader right off the bat or putting them into the story is a science. I do things in my stories like to not go heavy on the physical descriptions of my characters so that my reader can more easily ‘ see themselves ‘ in the roles.
For that reason I don’t do fantasy – unless a reader is used to the fantasy universe they don’t connect right away or at all. If you’re writing a short story or I’m guessing filming a short clip you don’t have the time to do that unless you go heavy on the backstory- which defeats the purpose of a short story.
So here we go with example #1
When I was reading the reviews for clip #2 ( titled ” October” ), it got slammed by some commentators because it wasn’t ‘scary enough’. I don’t know what people thought they’d get but this format is an example of the slow burn and I think they did a great job.
The slow burn is all about pacing, you don’t break your pace even at the end. No rushing allowed.
These stories get under your skin and they don’t just sit there- they spread like scabies or chicken pox.
No spoilers- but at the end of this clip you know what’s going to happen even if you don’t see it on your screen. If you let your imagination take that next step instead of the having it spelled out for you, you’re going to see the conclusion over and over and all of it’s possibilities until it makes you scream.
Which is the point of this format and this also happens to be my favorite way to tell a story.
I think that if you’re writing stories for a blog- paying attention to how these stories are being told could add to your ‘ writer’s toolbox ‘.
In addition, it is almost Halloween and I am congratulating myself on finding a way to use these clips in a post about writing when I probably didn’t have to use them at all.
But as my Creative Writing teacher in highschool said, it’s not creative writing unless you are really being creative.