How do you shit some-one’s pants effectively with the written word?

The title says it all really. I’m writing horror seriously for the first time ever. Okay, it’s sci-fi horror, but it is still a new venture to me. It’s been born partly out of an idea I had many years ago long before my first book was published. I had an idea for a creature that was very scary, developed with the idea that monsters that you either see or that resemble a man in a rubber suit suck big time. I wanted to get away from the lame monsters of Hollywood horror. Well, in writing my new short story this idea came home to roost blended with a second idea I had that came from a Mary Celeste themed dream.

Of course, even if an idea is good, you still have to keep the reader guessing and not ‘show the monster’ too much or too soon, as Zoë often puts it whilst lamenting the questionable quality of some of the Russell Davies era Dr Who. So I’ve already had to rewrite a couple of bits to build the suspense, but I think I’ve got there. Part of the best way to scare people is to leave them expecting something of a horror nature, then sprinkle in a few false turns. I’ve done that a couple of times, and building their horror level each time. I’ve just written one mscene now that reveals the after effects of the ‘monster’ without specifically drawing attention to the monster. I think I’ve succeeded. At any rate, it has upped the ante and progressed the mystery of the story along to a new level.

I’m very minded of the fact that I have only around 10,000 words to play with, plus or minus ten percednt, so I have to be very economical with what I write. That all goes back to what I talked about in my last blog post. I think I can do it though. It is certainly slow going though, not helped in part by working hard on other non-writing stuff, and this being a new venture for me.

I have another longish short story to be edited and I’m hoping to get this sent to Asimovs in America some time during this week. I’m also aiming for this sci-fi horror story to be done and ready for editing by the end of this week too. Then my next project will be a short fiction piece provisionally called “The longest Summer” though don’t quote me on that title. I have a flash fiction idea too called “The walls have ears” that will probably be a flash fiction (approximately 1,500 word) piece. We shall see what this week and next week brings, but I am starting to really get my writing output pushed up.