Did You Feel That?

Word of the Day Challenge: Chilling

Photographer Unknown

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.



If you haven’t seen this video or heard this version of the Monster Mash- then you need to because it’s the Halloween song we all need right now.

Ok, to be honest I’m not positive about that but it’s a good pitch line so I thought I’d toss it out there.


FYI: There’s a big difference between kooky monsters and psychotic killers. 


[Verse 1]
You remember in the 60s when I invented the mash?
Well, now the time has come for me to update that smash
Since I’ve been out of the fright game for 52 odd years
I invited a new crew to spread spooky cheer
The first to arrive was Dr. Hannibal Lecter
He brought his own date and he seemed to respect her
They hit the dance floor with a jive and a jitter
Then he, he ripped off her face! He’s pulling out her liver!

[Chorus: Mark Douglas as Boris & Mark Douglas as Jigsaw]
(That’s really gross) oh my god! What just happened?
(He ate her face) yes I know, I saw!
(Speaking of Saw) I like to play disgusting games
(He broke his jaw) that is way too graphic, I’m going to faint

[Verse 2]
Surely all the other guests won’t be this rude
Like this classic monster: a scary, hip dude
He’s got a kooky style and a spooktastic look
Oh my god! He just hung the waiter on a meat hook

(He’s Leatherface) he’s cutting him up with a chainsaw
(It’s what he does) who is Freddy Krueger?
(He haunts your dreams) ooh, he sounds like a real spooker
(I murder teens) you can’t escape me, bitch

[Verse 3]
In my day, the monsters would just give you a spook
Nowadays it seems they all just want to make you puke
Ah, The Human Centipede, that sounds like a hit
Wait, the ones in back have to eat the front one’s shit
Enough! The party’s over, everybody out
You all have no idea what Spooktober is about
Here comes the Wolfman, he’ll show you how it’s done
He knows how to be creepy but he always keeps it fun

[Verse 4: Mark Douglas as Boris, Mark Douglas as JigsawMike Birch as Hannibal Lecter & Todd Womack as Leatherface]
Nooooo, that was my friend
Why did he meet such a horrifying end?
Is it too much to ask to have some monsters dance?
It’s really quite a hoot if you give it half a chance
This guy won’t let it go, I think it’s rather sad
Guys, I feel guilty. And I also feel bad
Let’s give him a couple moves, it’s the least we can do
Okay, places everybody. And a one, and a two

[Chorus: Mark Douglas as Boris & Todd Womack as Leatherface]
(Look at us dance) you did the monster dance?
(Hey look, jazz hands) don’t twist too fast
(Our skulls are smashed) ah great, it’s the girl from The Ring
(Her heart is black) ooo, she really knows how to swing

[Outro: Mark Douglas as Jigsaw & Todd Womack as Leatherface]
I wouldn’t look directly at her face if I were you
Oh well, we tried
He died doing what he loved
Monster choreography
Hey guys, I know a game we can play
Guys? Anyone? No?