How to Write Scary

“The scariest moment is always just before you start.” 

...So do we pass the ghosts that haunt us later in our lives; they sit undramatically by the roadside like poor beggars, and we see them only from the corners of our eyes, if we see them at all. The idea that they have been waiting there for us rarely if ever crosses our minds. Yet they do wait, and when we have passed, they gather up their bundles of memory and fall in behind, treading in our footsteps and catching up, little by little.”   Stephen King, On Writing

I adore this quote.  I've always read scary, but I don't write what I consider to be scary stories. This quote, however, made me wonder how writing "scary" might apply to building character.  A unique, well-written character has fears.

So here are a few questions to contemplate today as you're writing:

What is your main character afraid of?
What fears do they bring with them from their past? Their childhood?
What was your biggest fear as a child?  Why?
Is there a character in your current writing could have that same fear?  How could you reveal that?


That's a rather deep quote to weigh upon. Stephen King is a writing legend for good reason.

Considering fears as part of character build up is a must, helps to form a character that isn't flat, but multi-facted with so much to offer, including things they are afraid of.

Scary works on many levels. Fears--now that is something we all can relate to!

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