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Horror/Scary: February 06, 2019 Issue [#9366]

 This week: Less is more
  Edited by: Arakun the Twisted Raccoon
                             More Newsletters By This Editor  

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

Quote for the week: "Some people ask why people would go into a dark room to be scared. I say they are already scared, and they need to have that fear manipulated and massaged. I think of horror movies as the disturbed dreams of a society."
~Wes Craven

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Horror stories are, by nature, disturbing, and horror fans love to be scared. Some writers try to induce fear in their readers by making their stories as bloody and gross as possible. That may work for some readers, but for others, excessive blood and gore actually make the story less scary. When I read a horror story or watch a scary movie, I want to shiver with fright, not revulsion or disgust.

You might think that filling every page of a story with blood and violence is the best way to scare a reader, but the opposite is often true. When readers are hit over the head with graphic details, they can become used to it, and it loses its effect. A good horror story will keep the reader off balance. Even though they know something scary is likely to happen, they don't know where it might come from or when it will happen.

If your story does need to have a really gross scene, don't tip your hand to the readers right away. Lead up to it. Instead of having the readers walk right in to a charnel house or room splattered with blood, show them a single tiny drop of blood or a necklace made of finger bones. In some stories, those small details might be all that is necessary.

It is important to tell your story in the way that is best for the story. For some stories that includes graphic content. If your horror story does include excessive gore, sex, or violence, be sure you rate it accordingly. See the description of the WDC content ratings system for explanations of each of the content rating levels:

"Content Rating System (CRS)

Remember that items with GC (graphic content) or XGC (Extreme Graphic content) ratings will not be seen by any members who have chosen not to view items with those ratings. If you want your item to be seen by more readers, it might be best to keep it at 18+ or below if possible.

Even if your story isn't going to be published on Writing.com, other sites and publishers have content rating systems and limits they must adhere to as well. Check the requirements for any contest or other site where you want to submit your work to be sure.

Something to try: Take a story that is currently written at a GC or XGC level and rewrite it to 13+.

The Eyes of Death  (18+)
Weekly winner of the SCREAMS! Contest.
#2179705 by IceSkating SugarCube

The Diagnosis  (18+)
Twisted Tales Contest, 2nd Place - A cancer diagnosis changes everything...
#2151881 by J.E. Allen

Do You Really Want To Read This?  (13+)
Well, Do You?
#1794443 by Angus

After Visiting Hours  (13+)
A bedridden patient receives a terrifying guest.
#2108952 by John Yossarian

A Winter Vacation  (18+)
Joanie needed to get away to relax... a 2017 Quill Awards Nominee
#2109955 by Jim Hall

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