Udern Stroud; How to write horror
(these are the video prompt of the lessons from Udern Stroud, I will accept criticism and feedback enjoy my writing!)
My name is Saskia Kruizinga, I’m 21 years and love to play video games along with good storytelling and characters. My English isn’t the greatest, I am Dutch after all.
But I can try to write it in the most universal language that everybody can understand.
Why I want to write horror is because I love it, I love to be scared and to sit at the edge of my seat, fearing the characters in the books and/or video games, I want to write it because next to Sci-fi, horror is something I want to get into.
I want to learn how to implement certain characters, scenes, scenarios, and to let the reader meet the uncanny valley, to make them feel unconformable and I hope that I actually learn how to get my writing to the scare factor.
Why is Horror important?;
Because of the fear factor, yes I get easily scared but it will always keep me on my toes and I liked that. I never really gotten into a genre until I read Horror and Sci-fi, that’s why I usually add horror to everything, like in video games with fun, cute platformers and/or indie games; That’s not to say that I like to write Creepy-pastas (Urban fake internet stories) because I don’t, but to give the cute vibe, a horrifying atmosphere.
Write your fear;
My fear of the dark, actually began actually when I was a child. I didn’t like it when my mother turned off the lights in my room, the lights would fade out completely until I saw only black. My stomach began to rise slowly as it was waiting for something to jump out of me. When I closed my eyes I saw the pure whites and the black iris, even when I blinked for just a second, I still saw that.
Waiting in my room until I focused my breathing in order to rest my body, I fell asleep but that heart throbbing in my chest I will never forget.
My fear of water (Deep-ocean), is that I actually got drowned as a child (because I didn’t want to learn how to swim), The salty cold chlorinate water entered my lungs as I was trying to spit it out, to use my arms and legs to swim above the surface, but I was tired and my arms didn’t work any more, my body gave up and I sunk below the water, as I saw the air bubbles leaving my mouth, I couldn’t keep my eyes open and I passed out. When I woke up my mother was furious at me for even trying to swim.
These are my two main fears that I have and the memories that haunt me will always be there, like a dark shadow on a sunny day, reminding me of my past.
Write thoughts on Shock and Gore in the Media;
I think that shock can be effective just like gore, but don't use too much otherwise the reader is going to bore itself because of your writing. In a video game, this is somewhat easier than a book/fan-fiction, like in Silent Hill/Resident Evil. But you shouldn’t use too much.
You need to use it sparely, like a scary scene in chapter 1 and a gore scene in chapter 3, then you can use it chapter 6 and 8, so that the reader can attract to the characters without it being like: “Oh, the writer is going to kill someone in the story again...”
At least that’s how I think about it.
Write something Uncanny;
I can just tell my own story that I remembered when I watch your video.
One day, I was playing in the garden, all by myself in a sandbox, my brother was with his friends upstairs and my parents were at work.
I was really happy just to be by myself, until I saw something out of the corner of my eye and look around, the door was open to the kitchen and the lights started to flicker, I didn’t mind it first but there was an irritating sound coming from them, when I wanted to turn it off but couldn’t find the switch, suddenly I saw my brother’s friend standing there at the end of the hall, staring at me, with a smile on his face, a crooked, rotten teeth showing smile, the issue was, that the boy just stood there watching, he didn’t even blink.
The light stopped the moment he took a step, I was so scared that I ran up to my room and locked the door.
The face of that boy was creeping me out, I even told my brother about it and he said that boy only came once and wanted to leave the house. My heart raced as I ran downstairs and the boy was gone.
Write a horror in the modern era and utilize modern technology;
The fingers that I typed on my modern laptop went on until my eyes couldn’t handle the bright light from the keyboard. I shouldn’t think about the glorious moment when the message converted into a webpage, a small grin escape my face. “Finally, I cracked it.”
The heart was racing in my chest, mind focused to the last bit. I saw a bank account in the wire mainframe, that of a woman, 35 years old, blond hair, brown chocolate eyes, name: Evelyn Brook, savings; 100.000 pounds.
“A British lady isn’t she? What can I do for the scares.”
The typing continued, I wanted to break in. That much money and nobody is using it, she wouldn’t miss a few pounds, does she? Sweeping away the thoughts of doubt, I noticed something odd.
The back account contained a phone-number but it didn’t seem to be from the United Kingdom.
“Oh little lady, where are you?”
Fastening my fingers to type on the keyboard, I found out that she lived in this area. Here.
In New York City.
“Damn, I didn’t realize that is was this easy”
The thought lingered for a minute.
“It was too easy.”
With my own program, I concealed her bank account and hacked in to steal the 100.000 pounds. I gave her the webpage URL to give up the bank account or to lose her files. I also send it to her phone number in order to strike the fear inside her. After uploading it, I closed my laptop to take a break, my legs carry me towards the window, to view the outside. Hundreds of cars, thousands of people walking every day, not knowing that I could make their life miserable. The phone rang until my fingers pressed the call button, I wonder who it is?
“Hello?” My monotonous voice should do the trick of these bots on the phone.
“Hi, Are you L33t-Hckr24? Also known as Michael Avesta...”
The moment the voice on the other line said my name, my heart stopped for a minute.
This can’t be, how does this person know my name, I never spend so much online and yet.
I started to breathe rapidly and the sweat was pouring from my forehead. Even my voice had to hide before the bot voice spoke to me.
“I know who you are, I know your location and I’m standing here in this very house with you.”
My eyes darted around the room, It was just a dark apartment and dim lights, wallpaper scratching from the walls. Dropping the phone. I hurried to the door to check the small circle glass in the middle. Nobody. Nobody was standing there. The door handle touched cold and metal. As soon as I stand in the middle of the flat hallway, the darkness inside the halls, creeping in inside my nerves. I looked around and didn’t saw a soul in sight. I grabbed my keys and closed the door, to walk further down the halls, with my phone light in hand, I came to the front door of the flat. The street light glow in a dark stormy night as this one, my vision focused on the outside of the busy neighbourhood. I slapped my head.
“Of course It’s Halloween.”
I walked back to my apartment and locked the door tight, the phone rang, I saw an image of a woman, the same woman I saw on the picture by her back account and the throbbing inside my heart continued. I answered the phone and looked back at the laptop.
“Who is this?”
“Don’t you remember me, Michael?”
The voice spoke clearly in the speakers. No. it can’t be.
“Martha, is that you?”
“Silly Michael, always playing being a hacker, why did you hack me? I’m dead remember?”
My body shrugs and narrowed my eyes and my hand covering my mouth not to make a sound. Headache aching at the back of my mind.
“Who are you?”
“Did you forget? I’m standing right beside you.”
The phone clicked and the connection was lost, my mind is still in shambles, random thoughts clutter it, crossing over each other, thinking of the solution to this puzzle.
Soft whispers entered the room as the lights flicker on and off, I darted around to find the source of the noise, until a cold metal circle form printed on my forehead. Eyes moved to look below and saw the same woman on the bank account with a police badge and uniform intact. My breathing became slower as she clicked the gun.
“Michael Avesta, I’m Evelyn Brook, nice to meet you.”
My body went to the opposite direction of hers, she pointed the gun at me and shot me in the chest and stomach. 4 bullets. The warm iron taste in my mouth. Try as I might stop the bleeding, I hunched over to face the ground, shivering cold, heard her footstep coming closer and clicking the gun once more, before imprinting against my forehead and shot my brains out.
Write something dark or light-themed;
(include character reaction / Physically disabled characters) / experience
The light from the window couldn’t stop shining through, alone in the grey box, alone with my own thoughts, trapped here forever. I cannot believe that I got tricked, but that is what you get if you are the “blind kid” in school.
How many days has it been since I got here, are my parents looking for me, both of them? I saw that things haven’t gone too well for them, my mother said; “that called a divorce, sugar, Your father and I cannot handle the responsibilities any more.” Maybe that’s why I just went along. A spontaneous thought, away from my parents and away from my so-called “friends”.
I still can remember the first day I was born. My father didn’t seem to mind that I lost my eyesight, my mother, on the other hand, was shocked and wanted to get rid of me, even today all that she sees in me is a monster, a child who cannot see, will never experience the world as we know it. The world was already rotten when I came here though, even in my neighbourhood, there was this man.
Uncle Sam, he really loves to play with children, one day he asks me to play doctor with him, I felt somewhat safe whenever I was near him, it was bizarre to me, alien even.
I needed him, he would give me the love that I wanted for years from my parents, Father always busy with work and Mother never looking at me, I- He would give me it, so I went and he made me smile, we talked and drink tea and eating biscuits together.
The thoughts entered my head. He was a bad man, right? What are they thinking?!
He took me upstairs and said that he was going to keep me, to be my father and mother, so that we could stay together, so he pressed his lips against mine, I hugged him tightly, I wanted it. I needed it.
Uncle Sam pushed me further on to the soft bed, kissing my neck, touching my back with his cold giant hands, whispering noises in my ear. I love you, stay with me. I will love you until the end of my life. I answered back. I’m blind remember. His hasty low voice spoke and moan. I don’t care for it, you belong to me.
That night, he was the first men to be inside of me, that’s how mother always put it when she and father go to their bedroom, to make out, to have sex, to love. Uncle Sam always loved me, after our night, he never went to somebody else, only me, he said to me that I’m all that he matters about. And I loved it.
Now he is gone. Died of a heart attack at the age of 48 years old. My heart stopped when I heard the neighbours talking about it. Whispering their rumours about me and Uncle Sam. It wasn’t too late until my parents found out about the affair and sent me away from my home-town to a mental ward.
I cannot believe it. Why? I asked myself at the time. There I met Johan. He wasn’t Uncle Sam but he was into young men he said to me and it clicked pretty good between us. Until I came of age and had to leave to due to my “recovery”. I never recovered, I would rather have someone love me again, before ever going back. I got tricked by my “friends” from the town where I lived until now. Come down let’s go camping. Let play a game of Hide and Seek. I ran and fell down here in the well.
I could see the white snow coming from above, the small white drops of ice-cold frost.
My time has come, I can finally leave this god-forsaken place and go to heaven or hell, where ever Uncle Sam waits for me. As I close my eyes, I could gaze at my body from above as the view became smaller and smaller and at the end, I could be with him again.
Make a list of questions and create scary answers to them;
My head was bonking full upfront until my eyes gaze outside the windows. What a nightmare. The sad part is that I couldn’t remember it, my wife always comes home late, she is a nurse after all. I went downstairs to grab something to bite when out of the corner of my eyes I saw a black cat with green standing there at the end of the hallway.
They always say that cats belong to the Moon. Don’t judge a book by its cover I said. I went up to the kitten and patted it, was it a girl and boy? That didn’t matter to me, the cat was purring from my touch, I picked it up to walk upstairs, and lay it in my bed.
You are such a cutie, I told the cat in a high pitched voice. I expected the cat to meow back, but the beating stopped when I heard her voice coming out of it. “John, it’s me, Sarah!” My body jumped at the split second and moved backwards, banging against the closet.
This, what is this. The cat spoke again. “Please help me! Throw me outside before she comes back!”
Who? I asked her and the cat ran towards the window and tried to open it, when my hand touches the rails of the window, she screams at me, with a massive force of my arms I threw her out of the room and into the garden, the cat made a dive and landed on the ground. I hope that she knows her way out. The sound of the front door being unlocked sounded like my wife when I came down to greet her. She started to scream at me and asking what all this blood on my shirt was.
She ran upstairs to see the horror for herself, she slapped on my cheek, to leave an imprint and asked why I murdered her?
Murdered? The cat? What was she talking about? She dragged me downstairs and into the garden, showing me the corpse of a young black long-haired woman full of bruises and fall damage wound on her head. My wife looked at me before the police sirens came to our house and busted through the doors.
Research a topic for a horror story;
That’s how many hours I have been awake for now, the rippling in my eyes must have been something else, a bug, a small worm crawling on top of my eye, leaving its slime in my iris.
Trapped inside a glass box, in the middle of Town’s square, lurked me a feeling of joy, children’s joy if you prefer to call it.
Clowns. Balloons. Happy faces.
The radio seems to be on standby mode, playing the same note over again. The crackling inside my shoes. Dirty to say the least. The noises came from my shoes, long hairy insect paws creeping their way out. Spiders. They are in my shoes.
Quickly as I can rip the shoes from my feet, stabbing any spiders that were left in the glass box. The men in white came to me, to speak about REM sleep. They say I was dreaming it all along.
While borrowing a computer, the protagonist checks the history and sees an article and read it?;
My friend when out of the town for a weekend and I asked if I could borrow his PC for my video game weekend craze! He didn’t seem to mind and reminder to actually turning it off if I was done with it. So I went to his house, got the pc and went back to get my controller and install it at his house. I booted it up.
Got my game ready to play, but I needed to connect to the internet, so I did that with minimal effort, opened up the webpage and got curious. Jason said that he didn’t have time ever since he got this house. I wonder. Whispering to myself as I typed in the search bar to look for his history, scrolling down pages from pages.
Mostly about, furniture, bedrooms, wallpapers. My eyes narrowed towards the screen. An article about the house that he owns. I actually wanted to know more about the house anyway since he didn’t tell me.
The house was owned in 1891 by a farmer, with two children and two wives, he cared for the land and his wives stays at home caring for the children. One night, the kid awoke from his sleep, to see his father axing his mother, a dark figure hanging around, commanding the father, the kid woke the other one and ran away from the house.
When reported to the police, they found bodies and bones of an old orphanage, the house was built on top of it and later in time, the house became a part of the city.
“Weird,” I recalled. This was the only article on the subject matter. The only one about this house.
I turned off the Webpage and pulled in my controller and played a few games.
At Monday I returned the PC to him and mentions the weird visual glitches with the system blue screens and the history of the PC. He told me that he bought this PC on Friday before he left and asked me what history and what I was talking about. I checked the PC again to look for that article, the history block was empty, not even my games that I put in. nothing.
Sensationalism in Horror;
Old and New:
The moment I put on my golden dress with black accents, the black shoes that I use to walk down the stairs, greeted by friends and family, a golden firework party in the house. My head spinning with early drinks puts a smile on my face. It’s was 1999 after all, soon we are entering a new millennium. What will be the world become in ten years time? What would I look like then? Everybody seems to enjoy the party, drinks and chips until the news broadcasted an emergency.
The guy in the chair told the news from the whole city block. The year is going to end! That we are all going to die! Because of a mistake in the computers programming. I quickly gazed to my old white PC, knowing how much fear this news would in stoke people, even me.
There were only seconds until the countdown. My heart raced inside my head and chest.
The world never stopped, the computers didn’t break apart, and I-
A sharp stab felt inside the sides of my stomach, the gooey, thick drape. Burned in a sea of red, yellow and orange and the cries of the people echoed into the night. My eyes started to tear up because of the thick smoke.
The smoke is being carried to the left by the wind, over the housing estate, raining down dirty ash like anti-snow. As the sirens become noticeable, wailing around the bypass, I imagine all the people I know rushing out to bring in the laundry. I watch like it's on TV, not my house, my home. Burned to the ground. Like me.
Write a story about isolation as the horror;
As I write in this journal, mind cluttered with fright and terror, my eyes lay upon the close walls of this underground prison. This world was doomed the moment we used the weapons of men to destroy each other, it seems that this prison hoarded supplies and beverages. It’s been days since I got here and nobody seems to be around, it is not that huge but the walls and small corridors made it seem that there was more here than it meets the eye.
Canned beans, water and candy bars. But being here as a lone soul does tricks to the mind. My mind tricked me as there is someone here, the whispers and noises the walls and chambers make, it really is a haunted place to be alone.
The diary that I write in has been with me since I went into war. The torture, I cannot bear it any longer. The third world war has reached its peak, I fell victim to the Korean forces not long after I went into the battlefield. Many of my comrades died while suffering gunshot wounds and detached limbs. My feet carry me to this bunker, this safe haven which nobody seems to see it standing right there in the middle of the forest.
I went inside, with the weather changing to the stormy rain, I was kept dry. My head bursting with internal pain. The change happened while I slept on the cold stone ground. I saw the canned foods and beverages stocked infinite in the halls of this bunker and yet I am all here alone. No soul inside and now I cannot remember the time, as there is no clock, no calendar, no sundial to even think about telling the time.
As I write this will be my life from now on, until the pages of this journal are drawn on, I will write until I die of old age, I cannot even tell of the war outside has stopped, if the world has become a better place, if the people I love do not think that I have died here, oh how cruel a mind can get to torture its soul. I shall seek comfort in resting until my mind has gone completely blank.
I sat on the light touchy cloud, looking down below the earth, cold fog seeped in and a black long cloak appeared from the back. I watched the cloak bend down and sat next to me. The cloak turned to me, seeping fog from the cloak, his “face” hidden in the shadows from the cover.
He grabbed his scythe and observed below.
“You are early...” Death finally says.
“I wanted to see how you do it, how you get the lost souls of this earth,” I answered him back.
“You will see...” He explained to me.
The world stood still, as death grabbed his scythe and dropped down below, I followed behind him. He claims the lonely souls of the ones passed away, the ones who passed on from accidents, deceases, life and death.
We all are bound to Death’s scythe, everybody is bound. To live our lives and then to die.
Write a horror that involves a game / Dissect a story that incorporates a game;
Hide and seek:
My friend and I used to play hide and seek since she was 14 years old, she moved away from our home town and into the city. It was a wonderful thing for her to go to a city because there were fewer kids living and growing up in the shadows of a big city. She did not have to share her home with many people, and so her education became enriched, and her experience helped her to flourish socially.
She was a truly gifted person. However, there were a lot of things that bothered her. The kids she worked with seemed to resent her because she was often absent, so she was annoyed that they wouldn't take the hint. She liked working with children but found the kids in were always too busy and turned to her boss if anything went wrong. She loved the outdoors and was fascinated by caves.
She had a really good memory that went beyond reading. She loved spending time with her family.
She often insisted on using the phone as much as possible when she was not home, just because she was so socially awkward. In her younger years, she fought with her mum over the phone. She had many tantrums because of bullying at school.
so we thought up a game called hide and seek. The game has people try to hide from each other while two of them go out and search for the other. But there are also times where one player is lying about who he or she is to the other player. So players try to figure out who the other person is and then try to decide on an appropriate response.
So she hides and I tried to find her, then one day, I founded her at the back of the school with a shovel. But that time it was a bit strange. It was a rainy day and she was covered by a sheet.
She spoke in a soft tone. "I am tired of playing hide and seek, Jhonny."
I came to her side to view the body on the ground, it was dead, beating with the bloody shovel on the sides of his head. My heart stopped. I couldn't fathom what she must have gone through to even think about this method, so I asked her the important detail.
"Who is this?"
“A girl who ruined everything, who made me depressed...”
Even though I didn't know what she was talking about, I replied, “Even though I thought she was going to feel guilty.”
I did my best to let her know that I understood the situation.
“I said I'm sorry for what I said,” said I, “however I'm not going to add any girl to our list just because of this.”
“Then I guess what we have is over.”
She hit the sides of my head with her shovel, her strength seems to be to on another level.
The teacher came to my aid and remove Sarah from me, she released the shovel and showed me her biggest grin.
“Found you, Jhonny!”
I never saw her again after that day. She moved away and that was for the better.
Tell a story with Symbolism;
When my eyes lay upon the field of lavender, the purple aroma seeped into my nose, melting my brain with the thoughts of my childhood. I did not look away even for a minute, as the smell was exquisite.
A freshly fallen snow covered the fields, as the taste of warm air breathed into the air enveloped by the iridescent powder blue moonlight and overwhelmed me. Blue butterflies fly away in an arc, seeing the great night sky.
Mirrors reflected my purple dress in my room, my face warmth and the colour itself with red. The flowers that were gifted to me were violets, the person wrote that I was shy and that he will meet me in the city at some restaurant. I was told that the restaurant is in New York.
It was just a moment but it's been an important moment in my life. Sitting at the bar, waiting for my mystery person, I couldn’t imagine what would happen next. It wouldn't be the only time either, I suppose.
The interior of the bar was … unexpected. It had a masculine feel and the decorations on the walls and ceilings were very dark and brooding and very even. The only bright spot was the lady bartender who was wearing a very short black dress. A boy walked up to me and smiled widely to the point where I could see his teeth.
“Hi, my name is Kenny, what is your name?”
“Allison. Are you the one who sent me that letter?”
We sat down by our table and talked all lot about our lives, it clicked very well between us, I would have never thought that this would ever happen to me.
There was a little time before the last full moon. The conversation came to a conclusion.
I spoke to him of the strong masculine influence that she encountered growing up. I shared his vision of Heaven. He responded with a definite sense of honesty in the all, the set pieces were completely and totally convincing. He was telling me as much as he had previously told me about his past.
This was not new information, but I did not want to believe it. In the end, I decided to believe him.
The day following our conversation, our discussions were again cut short when he called to tell me about the sighting.
The following morning, I got up at 5:00 am and started walking towards time square, all the lights and displays from the skyscrapers. I stopped briefly but I knew I had no time to speak with anyone so I continued onwards. I was in the area by 7:00 am when my phone rang. I pulled the phone from the pocket in my coat, and answered the phone.
"I was thinking about you and it seems that I will stop by tonight, I think that I love you, Allison."
I froze for second, and jumped in the air, I ran back to prepare myself for his arrival. His slim fingers had already travelled up my waistband and I turned to give him a less personal kiss as he walked to me. I'd been half drunk and I was already kind of blushing.
“I really want to see your worst.” He replied to me.
I used my tongue to slip a pill inside his mouth, he saw the glitter in my eyes and I smiled back at him. His body started to shiver and quiver in place. He dropped on the ground.
His eyeballs sank down, down into his brain. He was all over the place.
"W…what? What is happening? What is wrong with me? What the hell is going on?"
I got up and looked around with puzzled eyes. My words had remained the same as she continued to stare at the man she had fallen in love with. I then raised a scissor above him and took a deep breath.
“I’m sorry, Kenny… I just like the way your body feels.”
I plunged the knife in his stomach while his body kept vibrating. The poison nearly killed him. He realized he had no time to react. He took a deep breath and coughed heavily. Blood spilt from his mouth. I looked back at the blackened body lying on the ground.
I grabbed the violets, and bury him in the field of lavenders. Looking up the sky with teary eyes, speaking with my honey soft voice.
“I was never shy, not even in the mirror.”
The shredding inside my stomach, makes me sick, the stabbing pain that repeatability continues no matter what. I cannot even move my legs as I sit here in this chair, screaming in silence. The pain will never stop. The road to my home wasn’t so far, but you still had to drive for an hour to get there.
My eyes were baggy form the lack of sleep, driving all day to escape your boring life. I saw the mirror reflecting the back seat view, I shudder the moment my eyes laid on it.
There was a man.
Hiding on the floor of my back seat, while my body stayed calm, inside my head I couldn’t think of any plausible explanation for this, I locked my car, I wasn’t drunk, how did this man get into my car.
I glanced back tot he front window, the night was already out, while out of the corner of my eyes, the man rises up, holding something in his hand. He sat to the back seat and coughed to get my attention.
I didn’t pay him any mind and drove harder than before, the man hit the back of the car, I saw the house of safety within a mile. The man grabbed the sides of my shoulders and stopped the car with the breaks, as he climbed over, I unbuckle the straps, grabbed the keys and opened the door, the man was almost near me, I forced the doors to close and locked the car with the man inside.
I ran further down the road to my home, leaving the car behind, I gazed back to the car to see the man’s hand break the glass of the car and climbing out. My home was nearly there, my hands shivered from the cold and my mind with thoughts, I opened the door and in a split second the man stood behind me, pushing me inside the house and on the ground. He kept stabbing the ground next to me as I pushed him further, he groans and speaks in short bursts.
I pushed him off and ran to the kitchen, searched from the drawers. A knife or anything to block this man. When he came near me, I got a knife and made my way to the door. He sliced the parts of my arms in order the get to my chest. Defended with the knife and sidestepped to lunge to the knife at him.
The cold steel plunged inside the man’s chest, making a bloodbath inside the hall of my humble home. He bent backwards on dropped on the floor, still holding his the knife in his hand. I pierced the neckline and made a deep scar line in order to block the air.
Sink on the ground, the adrenaline rushed through my body, keeping me alert of the situation. My wounds on the arms sting with the cold air around me. I wasn’t aware of the scene, I quickly searched in the man’s pocket for anything for a wallet of sorts.
The Driver card that seized in my hand, read the license plate of the car. Making him the owner of the car. Fuzzy memories eloped my brain, The car that I rode here wasn’t mine, was it from this man.
The wired sirens wailed the outside of my home. Red and blue light flicker from the windows. The doorbell rang, bonking on the door. I gazed upon the door, realizing the moment that I fell unconscious.