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I love theme prompts! So, of course, for October let’s do HORROR!
What is Horror in Fiction?
Horror is fiction that makes readers feel terror (or horror). Horror can frighten, scare, disgust, or startle readers.
Even if you’re not a horror writer (or reader), it won’t hurt to spend a month with some horror prompts.
Why Use Creative Horror Writing Prompts?
- For writing practice to improve your skills
- As a tool to beat writer’s block (because staring at a blank page sucks!)
- As a warmup before you start your own writing (like stretching your creative muscles)
How to Use Horror Writing Prompts?
You should try and do a quick 500 word writing prompt daily – but that doesn’t mean you need a new prompt every day. Look at the same prompt two or three times.
Four ways to reuse prompts:
- Use the same story idea, but write a different scene.
- Add in a new character, or change the main character
- Write from a different perspective
- Write a completely different story idea
This post contains 3 types of prompts: visual (with ideas), plot, & character.
Daily Writing Prompts
Your task: Write a horror scene of (at least) 500 words for each prompt. Remember, you want your reader to feel terror!
Writing Prompts (Visual)
Use the image as inspiration to write 500+ words of terror. If it doesn’t inspire you, check out one of the ideas.
ONLY PATH Ideas
- By the time they realized they were being herded, it was too late.
- For 4 days they’d been hiking this trail. Would it ever end?
- The bridge shook with every step.
PAINT PARTY Ideas
- They should have made sure the paint was non-toxic.
- If you don’t have an epic party, is it really your birthday?
- The blood spatter looked just like the paint.
FOG ALL THE TIME Ideas
- When the fog finally lifted, there was almost no-one left.
- It’s been 40 years since the fog appeared.
- “It’s just a little fog,” I thought. “It isn’t going to hurt me.”
ALMOST THERE Ideas
- The Leprechaun’s gold is going to be ours!
- It’s a sign. This is where we should stay.
- Although picturesque, sanity had long ago abandoned the village.
Writing Prompts (Plot)
Use the writing prompt as inspiration to write 500+ words of terror. Feel free to change any part of the prompt you want!
Writing Prompt #1
There’s a tapping sound coming from inside the mirror.
Writing Prompt #2
The witches council meets once a year. The leader has just called an emergency meeting because some witches are losing their abilities.
Writing Prompt #3
Avery House is a picturesque mansion on a hill. It looks like a dream from the outside, but when you step inside it’s a nightmare.
Writing Prompt #4
When Tina arrived home her husband was missing and every tap was running on full.
Writing Prompts (Character)
Use the character information/prompt as inspiration to write 500+ words of horror. Feel free to change any part of it that you want.
Character Prompt #1
Beth is usually shy and quiet. Except after a couple of drinks.
Character Prompt #2
Jude has the perfect life, or he did. His parents have joined a cult and they’re moving to the compound. Today.
Character Prompt #3
Jack was one of the world’s best assassins before he retired to Florida.
Character Prompt #4
Emily drinks bourbon, listens to jazz, and moves to a new city every 2-3 years.
Buy a Writing Prompt Notebook
I like to do writing prompts by hand. I feel more inspired that way. I keep my writing prompts in a separate notebook, just for prompts. You can use any notebook you want (or scraps of paper).
Here are four of my favorite cheap (and pretty) writing prompt notebooks.
Even if horror isn’t your thing, I hope you were inspired by (at least one of) these 12 writing prompts.
Remember: Practice! Practice! Practice! It’s the only way to improve.
Ready for more? Check out 12 Creative Writing Prompts next.
Want to inspire someone else? Post your scene(s) (or a link to them) in the comments. Be bold! Be brave!
Read what others have come up with – offer praise and/or constructive criticism. Accept the same.
We’re all in the same boat – just trying to be better writers.
If you like this post, please share it on Pinterest or with your writer friends. You can also follow me on Pinterest, Twitter, & Facebook. Thanks!
Exciting New Books (Mar 2020)
Check out these three books, set to be released in March 2020. I can't wait to get my hands on all of them (although when I'll actually read them is another story).
Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose-to assassinate his boss's enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he's offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.
As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City's underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion-one that could set them both free, if they'd only let it.
2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.
2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past.
Vincent is a bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star lodging on the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island. On the night she meets Jonathan Alkaitis, a hooded figure scrawls a message on the lobby's glass wall: "Why don't you swallow broken glass." High above Manhattan, a greater crime is committed: Alkaitis is running an international Ponzi scheme, moving imaginary sums of money through clients' accounts. When the financial empire collapses, it obliterates countless fortunes and devastates lives. Vincent, who had been posing as Jonathan's wife, walks away into the night. Years later, a victim of the fraud is hired to investigate a strange occurrence: a woman has seemingly vanished from the deck of a container ship between ports of call.