The Thing at the Foot of the Bed, The Woman with the Golden Arm–I’ve always loved scary stories. A cold, dark night next to a warm fire immersed in a book that made the shadows dance and my skin crawl. I couldn’t get enough of them. I even wrote my own, and you can too.
How do you get ideas for a scary story? When should you introduce your main characters? How do you use dialogue to bring your characters to life? You can get these answers from Writing Stories: Scary Stories published by Heinemann Publishing and written by Anita Ganeri.
Adventure, animal, funny, mystery-there are lots of books in this series, but this book introduces young writers to the dark and creepy world of scary stories, appropriate for those 6 to 9 years of age. If it’s too scary, your young author might not go to bed tonight.
A scary story should have a spooky setting, maybe a haunted house. It should also have frightening characters and be exciting as well as terrifying. You can get ideas from reading stories, watching movies, or from your own imagination. You can write ideas in a notebook when you think of them, so you don’t forget.
Before you start writing, you’ll need to plan your plot. This is what happens in your story. The plot needs a beginning, middle, and an end. Imagine a mountain. The beginning is where you introduce your main characters. The middle is where most of the action happens, and your character gets in trouble. The end is where the problem is solved and the story ends.
Your story is a piece of fiction. It’s about people and places you make up. A good story feels like it could be real. You do this by bringing your characters to life and making them believable. You can do this with dialogue. This is the words people say, and it will bring your readers into the action. Just be sure to put quotation marks around the spoken words.
There are more tips to make your story more dramatic. A writer needs to choose their words carefully, and interesting adjectives will make your writing exciting. You might want to end your story happy or sad, or with a surprise twist, but you can’t do that if you give away too much early in your story.
Read your story over and correct any mistakes. Sometimes it helps to read it out loud. This will help you hear how your characters sound and if they talk the way real people talk. There’s even a spooky story running throughout the book to give you examples of how to use these tips. So, grab your notebook and a pen and prepare to scare…
Spooky stories? Or Funny tales? Comment and let me know. Hobo, the bookstore cat, is a ginger-colored cat that knows a leopard may not be able to change its spots, but he can be anything he dreams of. He’s picturing himself now as a little lion, a mountain lion…