Would you believe me if I told you that I’ve loved horror novels since my early teens, but only last year began earnestly writing a horror novel myself? About time, you might say – and you’d be right!

As you’ll know if you’ve read my earlier posts, novel wip#4 is a supernatural/psychological horror, which I’ve been scaffolding up from a short story I wrote last year in lockdown. I’ve been steadily building this up to book length since last November. It’s slow progress, but I’m learning a lot on the job.

The thing about writing horror is finding the right balance between making a scene or chapter frightening enough without overdoing the fear-factor so that it becomes cliché, or boring. Or worse: cringey.

Today was a challenging, but rewarding writing day. Basically I wrote my first scary scene, hopefully with as much description as possible. It’s tough trying to describe a ghost, especially a malicious one! Hopefully the scene is scary not cheesy…

At 54k words (or thereabouts) into draft 1 of novel wip#4, it’s also a long way into the story before the sinister central character makes an appearance. But I’m hoping that when this draft is done and I read through it, the build up of suspense beforehand should pay off when the malign spirit finally makes its grand entrance.

Any other writers out there who have waited until quite far into their story before introducing the main protagonist in all their wicked glory?

About Leilanie Stewart

Leilanie Stewart is a novelist and poet. Her debut novel, Gods of Avalon Road was published by Blossom Spring Publishing in October 2019 and her second novel, The Buddha's Bone is forthcoming in October 2021. Leilanie has also published three poetry collections: The Redundancy of Tautology (Cyberwit, 2021); Chemotherapy for the Soul (Fowlpox Press, 2017); A Model Archaeologist (Eyewear Publishing, 2015) and two self-published pamphlets: Toebirds and Woodlice (Meandi Books, 2012); Metamorphosis of Woman (Meandi Books, 2012), satirical novella Zombie Reflux (Meandi Books, 2014) and surreal novelette, Til Death do us Boneapart (Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, 2017). Leilanie is also Editor in Chief of Bindweed Magazine, a poetry and fiction online magazine that also publishes a quarterly print anthology. She currently lives in Belfast with her writer and poet husband, Joseph Robert and their lively literary tot, a voracious reader of educational books. Literary blog: https://leilaniestewart.com/ Meandi Books: http://meandibooks.bigcartel.com/ Bindweed Magazine: https://bindweedmagazine.wordpress.com/

2 responses »

  1. Even though I might’ve read a few horror titles, I would never attempt at writing in the genre, because as you said, things can get cheesy pretty easily. Great article. Thanks for this post!

  2. Nice blog!!
    Do visit to my blog and follow it if you like.

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