Video:Tips for Writing a Ghost Storywith Meghan Lynn Allen
Have a scary story in mind but just don't know how to put it all together? In this how-to video from About.com, get great tips on writing a suspenseful and fresh ghost story.See Transcript
Transcript:Tips for Writing a Ghost Story
Hi! This is Meghan Lynn Allen for About.com, and today we'll talk about how to write a ghost story.
How to Start a Ghost Story
So you want to write a ghost story, but you're not sure where to start. Well, think about what kind of story you want to write. Will it be an original story that you come up with completely from scratch, or will it be based off an anecdotal stories - one of those ghost stories passed down through the years, such as the headless horseman or that lonely driver on a deserted road who picks up a hitchhiker.
Map Out Plot and Atmosphere Elements of Your Story
Next, come up with some elements of your plot or elements of your story. You can even draw yourself a simple plot outline. Start off with a mysterious or paranormal element - namely, your ghost. Who is the ghost, why are they there, and what is their history or background story? Or think about a mysterious or paranormal element to the setting. If your ghost story is based off an anecdotal tale or even a true ghost story, you'll want to make sure to do some research about elements of your plot and storyline. Include some truth in your fiction about local history or the ghostly happening.
Another very important element is atmosphere and tension. You want to make your reader feel at unease. Consider an atmosphere that's darkly lit, stormy weather, or something that gives the impression that this story is creepy and ghostly. Or you can go in the complete opposite direction. Pick a bright cheery place like a park, a classroom or someplace in bright daylight - and when your ghost comes along, it will be completely unexpected.
Consider Plot Twists and Revelations
Get down to the details. Sure, you could write a story about a ghost that comes along, haunts some people, and leaves. That would be no fun. So be sure to describe the ghost - what they look like, what they sound like, and what the people feel like when they experience the ghostly happening. Whether it's terror, shock, surprise, or complete horror, the writer needs to elicit every emotion from the reader. The end.
Before you sit down to write your story, think about a plot twist, a conclusion, ending of the story that will leave your reader with a lasting impression. A creepy revelation or unexpected plot twist is exactly the kind of thing that will raise those goosebumps in the reader, which is hopefully your goal as a ghost story writer.
Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.