As seen at Coffee House Writers

It is the day before your horror article is due. Your mind is racing, sweat pours from your skin, and your heart speeds up. You are fighting to catch your breath. You think to yourself I will not make it in time. I can’t think of anything to write. Your hand is on your forehead, and tears roll down your cheeks. All hope is lost repeats itself in your mind. But it is not. You are not alone; we all have gone through it and will go through it again.

Writing of any kind is rough. The topic can hit us in the head like a ton of bricks. Again, the mind can draw a blank, and we sit watching the cursor on the word processor document wink at us, taunting us, laughing at us because we cannot think of anything.

How can we get over such problems? The solution is all around us. We need to open our eyes and look. Here are five to prove to your inspiration is all around us.

1.      Playing Cards

When it comes to horror, we can use cards for many things, like weapons or distractions. In my case, it was a set of fortune-telling cards I used to construct a short story from doing a three-card spread. One card tells you your past, the second card tells you your present, and the third card tells you your future. You need not create a short story. Mine started as a poem, but my imagination got away with me, and it turned into a short story.

2.      Grave Walking

For a horror writer, walking around in a cemetery is like a walk in the park. But the same old stuff may come to mind, like zombies and vampires. You do not have to go down that route. Take something from the graveyard and turn it into something else, use it as a metaphor. An example is my poem, My Tomb. The poem came to me while I was taking pictures at the local cemetery. I saw a tomb and used it has a metaphor for my agoraphobia condition. You see, I cannot leave home without my husband with me. I freak out.

3.      Mental Condition

Mental conditions are serious. They are the life and death of many people. As you saw in number two, I used one of my medical conditions to create a poem. I used another condition for a short story. The illness is an excoriation disorder;  I pick the dead skin off my arms and legs. In the story, I spiced it up, but my condition inspired it.

If you have a mental condition, you might put it in a story or a poem. It can help you get a handle on it and scare your readers at the same time.

4.      Real Life

All you must do is people watch. You can sit and watch television or movies or go out to a park or grocery store. Sit and watch people, how they act and move. Make up little scenarios in your head when you see two people having a conversation. If you see them smiling in public, change it that they are hiding in plain sight, yet talking about the body the hidden in the basement of an abandon apartment building. Have a recording application on your phone to record your ideas.

I went to a farm specialty store, and they had chicks. One of them was dying, and I could not find help. I used the scenario in a poem to help me work through my sadness for the little chick.

5.      Local Folklore

Use the local folklore of your area and twist it into something else. The novel I am working on is inspired by a real town built on a half-acre of land. It got destroyed in a storm. Now, they twisted the story of a peaceful village that gets destroyed by supernatural forces.

As you can see, you can find haunting stories in everyday life. Heck, take your experience you are having about the deadline and create a horrific story out of it. Good luck.


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