What Makes A Scary Story? This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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What Makes A Scary Story?

Is it an outright gore fest?  Or is it the chill that builds?  The scream that shatters the night?  Or the quiet that settles softly, quickly before it becomes apparent all noises have ceased…except for the sounds of someone breathing?

If you are talking about a romance with a touch of the dread, is one member of the couple in  danger or both? Contemporary, paranormal, supernatural or does it even matter?  Does it have clowns?  *Shudders*

What’s your cuppa chilling horror?  Do you even have one?

Mine have always been the latter, no not clowns, never clowns.  A twist on the normal where suddenly things are just a little bit off, then come a skittering of beetles….enough to send shivers up your spine but not enough to make you put down the story.  That’s why I have always loved the lyrical, almost poetic works like Lily or Earthly Concerns by Xavier Axelson where the horror is quiet and unearthly. Or The Reunion by M.D. Neu which layer by layer slowly unfolded a remarkable truth.

Other reviewers here  have loved the scary tales that John Inman has occasionally written.  Others fall into the shifter romances which for me aren’t really horror or scary tbh.

What are your criteria for a story to fall into a horror or scare genre?  I was scanning through various writing blogs  and most agree that there are 8 elements for horror:

8 Elements Of A Horror Story
  • Gothic elements. Things put in a story meant to scare you.
  • Monster. Antagonist.
  • Protagonist. Someone who battles the monster.
  • Motivation. Why the monster is what it is.
  • Setting/atmosphere. Over all feeling you get.
  • Foreshadowing. Gives clue on what is going to happen.
  • Mood. The readers feeling as they are reading the story.
  • Suspense.

Amazing how that can apply to contemporary stories where the monsters are human beings who do the most atrocious things. Real monsters are everywhere unfortunately.  However, back to things that go bump in the night.

Most of us don’t think about this when reading our stories.  We think about the end product.  How did we feel reading the story?  Did we get the shivers?  Were we concerning for the couple/person involved?  Did the events/ending upset us?  Did the tale continue to linger with us long after the story was done?  I think we can agree that most great monsters and stories live on and on because their creators have done their job extremely well and their stories continue to resonate generation after generation.  Just look at Frankenstein and Dracula!

So getting back to our current stories or just plain stories.  Which ones have continued to resonate with you?  Or what new ones have found a home in your collection?

What makes a story go Boo for You?  And which ones have?

You have until the end of the month to get your recs into us.  I’m sure the authors and publishers will be releasing titles all month.  Let us know what new ones you find.  We will be doing the same.  Gift certs will be given out in our Horror or Boo For You Title Rec Giveaway!

 

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, October 7:

  • What Makes A Scary Story?
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • BLOG TOUR: Rebuilding Hope by Jessie G
  • Release Blitz: BURN (Witchbane #1.5) by Morgan Brice

Monday, October 8:

  • Book Blast – A Pride Anthem by Rob Browatzke
  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway:  TOO HOT! by Avery Giles
  • Blog Tour Date His Instant Family by Rheland Richmond
  • A Lucy Review: A Pride Anthem by Rob Browatzke
  • An Alisa Review: Square One (Under The Uniform #7) by JJ Harper
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Craft Brew (Trouble Brewing #2) by Layla Reyne
  • An Ashlez Review: Murderous Twins by Edward Kendrick

Tuesday, October 9:

  • BLOG TOUR Craft Brews by Layla Reyne
  • Hearts Untouched by Andrew Grey Book Tour
  • Release Blitz – Lone Wolf – Anna Martin
  • Release Blitz –  From The Ashes by C.M. Valencourt
  • An Alisa Review: Ginger and the Wolf by Kerry McBoyd
  • A Free Dreamer Review: SYN Consulting (Dragon War Chronicles #1) by A.G. Carothers
  • A Caryn Review: Hard Truths by Alex Whitehall

Wednesday, October 10:

  • Review Tour – Leta Blake – Any Given Lifetime
  • New Release Blitz: Out in the End Zone by Lane Hayes
  •  Promo David C. Dawson
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Heart Untouched (Hearts Entwined #3) by Andrew Grey
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Texas Charm (Aberrant Magic series#6) by Lyn Gala
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:  Any Given Lifetime by Leta Blake

Thursday, October 11:

  • Release Blitz – Take It All – Steamy Encounters Collection by Quin Perin
  • Release Blitz – Sam Burns’ Adder and Willow
  •  Promo Andrew Grey
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Long Black Cadillac by BA Tortuga
  • A MelanieM Review: Grasmere Cottage Mystery Trilogy by Dahlia Donovan
  • A Lila Review: His Pagan Love by Wayne Mansfield
  • A Stella Review: Falling Into Love by Nell Iris & Kris T Bethke

Friday, October 12:

  • Release Blitz – Love’s Trials by Janice Jarrell
  • Dreamspun Promo SJD Peterson
  • Review Tour – Neve Wilder’s Center Of Gravity
  • A MelanieM Review: Love’s Trials (Revolutionary Heart #2) by Janice Jarrell
  • An Ali Review: Sadistic Sherlock (Ward Security #4) by Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott
  • A MelanieM Review: Center Of Gravity (Nook Island #1) by Neve Wilder

Saturday, October 13:

  • A Stella Release Day Review: Strays by A.J. Thomas
  • Blog Post Request – Center Of Gravity (Nook Island #1) by Neve Wilder

2 thoughts on “What Makes A Scary Story? This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

  1. I don’t usually read horror or psychological thrillers. Those are things I rather watch. But I have read a few books that have ran chills down my spine:
    The Rats by James Herbert
    My Boyfriend’s Back by Elliot Cooper
    Buried Desires 1-2 by Ofelia Gränd and Amy Spector
    Silent Woods by Ofelia Gränd
    The Deadly Sugar Collection by Ofelia Gränd
    The Snowflake by Ofelia Gränd (will be in Buried Desire 3 releasing this week, which i received the ARC of)

    I think a story that is written with an ominous tone and reference things like murder,death or torture as if it’s a everyday occurrence in people’s lives is chilling. If it becomes too gruesome it just becomes hard to read also.

    Like

  2. Well, what does make me shiver my timbers? First, I have to care about the characters being threatened. The threat has be believable, and sometimes mysterious, that adds some suspense/tension. And then, people draw this line at different places, but it has to be monstrous without being too gruesome. With that in mind …
    – A mysterious killer on the loose in my home state of TX (and historical at that):
    THE GERMAN by Lee Thomas
    – Speaking of TX, and who can resist this mashup?”
    COWBOYS & VAMPIRES by Hank Edwards
    – One where monsters are done well, with an edge:
    MONSTER (Vertex #1) by Soren Summers
    – Another mysterious monster, set in a fav historical time for me, the NW Territory:
    MAN & MONSTER (The Savage Land #2) by Michael Jensen

    Like

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