Horror Horror - Start

2018-01-05 33K 33 0 0


Building Suspense, Twist Endings and Unreliable Narrators. Introduction. What are some of the scariest or most disturbing movies/stories that you have experienced? . What made them so disturbing and scary? . ID: 620076 Download Presentation

Embed code:
Download Presentation


Download Presentation - The PPT/PDF document "Horror" is the property of its rightful owner. Permission is granted to download and print the materials on this web site for personal, non-commercial use only, and to display it on your personal computer provided you do not modify the materials and that you retain all copyright notices contained in the materials. By downloading content from our website, you accept the terms of this agreement.

Presentations text content in Horror



Building Suspense, Twist Endings and Unreliable Narrators



What are some of the scariest or most disturbing movies/stories that you have experienced?

What made them so disturbing and scary?

What are some common tropes for the horror genre?


Stephen King: Terror, Horror, and Revulsion

Read the short summary of the terror, horror, and revulsion piece from Stephen King.

What is the difference between the three?


Watch clips

For each of these clips, answer the following questions:

Did you personally find this clip scary? Why or why not?

Does the clip seem to utilize terror, horror, or revulsion most often? Why do you say that?

How could the trailer be improved?


Building Suspense

There are a lot of ways to build suspense.

Keep these tips and rules in mind when writing


Put characters that we care about in jeopardy

Your character needs to be sympathetic in some way, shape or form.

Make clear:

1. What your character wants

2. What is keeping your character from it

3. What terrible consequences happen if he doesn’t get it.


Plain Stakes, Stabbed hard through the breastbone

What is at stake for your character should be plain to see

We must know what can be gained, and what can be lost, for horror to work.

You can be afraid of the unknown, but it works better if we know that the unknown is worth fearing.


More promises, less action

Suspense builds as danger approaches.

Show that something terrible is about to happen (make your reader a promise)—then postpone the resolution to sustain the suspense.

Suspense is anticipation; action is payoff. You don’t increase suspense by “making things happen,” but by promising that they will. Instead of asking, “What needs to happen?” ask, “What can I promise will go wrong?”


Keep every promise you make

If you build up so much terror, but the payoff is a let down, your reader will be disappointed.

ex. If you are telling a story about a battalion preparing for a big battle that never happens, and nothing equally exciting happens in its place, you will disappoint your reader. (I’m looking at you, Twilight.)


Be unpredictable, in a (sort of) predictable way

Readers like to predict what will happen, but they want to be



YET, when they look back at the story (after the reveal) they need to see that the details for the truth were there all along.


Cut down on the Violence

A murder is not suspense (terror). A threat of murder is.

Often, a story will end right before the most gruesome part of the story begins—it will leave the reader with the fear of what violence will occur.


Use Dramatic Irony

Allow your reader to know something that your character does not.

You can do this by shifting perspectives, so we can see out of your antagonists’ eyes OR if you are writing in third person, you can show hints of danger that the character does not see.


Add an element of Hope

This goes hand in hand with Dramatic Irony

Even in the throes of despair, allow your character a glimmer of hope—a chance for them to get what they want (or at least not lose what they have).

This does NOT mean hope needs to win


Saw, The Omen, The Exorcist


Add an element of Suspicion or Doubt

If every horrible situation was immediately believed by everyone, you lose suspense.

When you allow your characters, and thus your reader, to be


about what is going on, you add tension.

*note: Make sure the doubt is believable—give them a good reason for ignoring the warning signs.

Example: The Omen, Paranormal Activity


Build suspense by using Foreshadowing

You can do this by:

Use small details that hint to a larger issue, evil, or truth, about what is to come

Having someone visit the setting earlier in the story

Example: The Lottery—people gathering and picking up stones


Start with a Scene that is Relatable

Many of the best horror stories start with something that is completely normal and relatable.

It draws the reader in with the familiar. Then shows how the familiar is actually horrifying.



Read the story the Landlady

At the end, write:

What larger issue, evil, or truth is revealed at the end?

At what point did you realize it?

What details does the author drop along the way that foreshadow the horrible truth?


Let’s look at your pictures and see if we can make them sinister. For each picture, think about: What larger issue, evil, or truth could this picture be hiding? How could you drop subtle hints (foreshadowing) to clue your reader in to that larger truth?




While Romance stories must have the uplifting ending, great horror stories end with a sense of unease.

You may have a large climax and resolution where everything seems to be solved, but the very end of the story should trigger a sense of vulnerability in the reader or the audience.


Horror endings don’t really end

Throughout a horror story, you have a cycle of tension build up and releases (the terror and the horror).

However, the tension often never really gets all the way resolved.

This is not true for many other genres


Map the Terror and the Horror

We are going to watch an episode of

Dr. Who

that certainly falls under the heading of “horror”

As the story progresses, write a brief timeline of crescendos (horror) where the dread peaks and then drops off again.

Notice how the story ends with an uptick (albeit a small one) of tension


Horror Tropes

As in all genres, there are a few story elements, settings, and themes that are common.

Power over death has hideous results

The false perfection

Perverted wishes

Losing control over your body-ex. Through possession

Abandoned settings (buildings, towns, houses,



Extreme forms of the 7 deadly sins



for MANY



About DocSlides
DocSlides allows users to easily upload and share presentations, PDF documents, and images.Share your documents with the world , watch,share and upload any time you want. How can you benefit from using DocSlides? DocSlides consists documents from individuals and organizations on topics ranging from technology and business to travel, health, and education. Find and search for what interests you, and learn from people and more. You can also download DocSlides to read or reference later.