When I was 16 I was itching to write a horror. I really didn’t know how to write a horror. So I had a think about my own experiences.
When I was 15 me and my friends chose to skive off school, because school was boring that day. One of my friends said that she had seen this house that was run down and delapitated when coming to school in her taxi. It was close to the school. So we decided to go.
We had no idea what exactly this place was. It was charred and trashed up completely. It wasn’t inhabitable and it was ludicrously dangerous. It was also grotesquely vandalised.
We were able to walk the clear space on the floor, but this place seemed completely weird. Something was off with this place from the start.
We found a concrete building next to the run down building. This place only had one entrance and no windows. We entered. It was dark and dank. It was extremely cold.
What was strange about this place was that there was a very strange mist. It hung in a very strange manor. It didn’t touch the floor, nor the ceiling. It absorbed the entire middle through the entire building. It was white and dense. The mist was the coldest part of the building. The mist gave us a surreal jerk around the navel. It was almost like it guided us from room to room. Each room had some form of broken object in. The last room it guided us to had a broken hospital bed in and a sharp rusty spike on the wall. A heavy stench of blood filled our nostrils. It was putrid. The mist started to get denser and more heavy. We started to find ourselves not being able to move. It was almost like it was gluing us there. We had to fight it. We ran. We returned to school.
Never before have I experienced a mist like that, nor have I seen one since.
So when I wanted to write my horror I chose to draw on this experience. I got off to a great start, but then suddenly I stopped.
I realised I couldn’t go on with it. I didn’t have enough information other than my own experience. I had to do research. At 16, I was still to young to know where to start, so I gave it up as a bad egg.
Shortly after I turned 16, they knocked the building down and replaced it with a supermarket. I didn’t give it another thought.
When I turned 19, I resparked my interest when I found the original draft of the story I had started. Reading it, I found it a load of tripe.
I scrapped it and started again. I included more characters and me and my new friends started to investigate places in Exeter. We also went into the library to establish exactly what that building was. We found out, but I can’t tell you that.
I stopped writing the story so I could study at uni. When I turned 25, I re-read the story and found it was still tripe. So I scrapped again, but I kept the characters. The characters, I’ve discovered, are not 2d. They work. They needed a tweak, but that’s easy.
I subscribed to a ghost magazine to get examples of how to write a horror, and for a university exam I scripted one of the scenes from the book that I wanted to happen. I wanted to hear it as part of a play. I got 78% for it. A 1st, in uni terms. The people who heard it read aloud wanted to know what happened in the story.
So I knew my story would work. I just needed a few clever plot devices and a clearer plot.
Now at 29 I’ve finally done that. Once my two books this year are published, I will release this yummy horror…hopefully…before I’m 31. Let’s hope it doesn’t take another 13 years. I am after all, my worst critique.