Where there is no imagination there is no horror.– Arthur Conan Doyle
1. Think of a Halloween costume you’d typically see around the neighborhood. Now, pair that with a reason why someone would be scared. Write a story involving both.
Princess Leia & the streetlamps suddenly go dark.
Spiderman & a knock on the door but no one is there.
2. Choose a character you’d find in a scary movie, like a werewolf, poltergeist, demon, vampire, zombie, etc.
This character has a significant (or minuscule) secret. Write a scene exploring that secret.
3. In your story, find a way to pair a spooky location and an ordinary object.
The object, such as a dictionary, rotary telephone, or deck of cards, is the center of the story.
4. On the surface, we show a certain persona to the public, but we all have different sides within us. If your different personalities were individual people, who would they be? What would their personalities and professions look like?
5. Imagine that you are a dragon, guarding a hoard of your most prized possessions. Dragons are collectors and are possessive over their sacred belongings. Write a scene as a dragon, obsessing over your hoard. What specific items would be there?
6. Write a scene of a character who is demonically possessed. Explore this condition, but add your own twist to the story.
7. Your character witnesses a crime. What details did they witness, and how did they handle it? Did it begin a domino effect within their life?
8. You are writing a slasher screenplay where the characters die off one by one in a variety of ways. Write a list of these characters, giving specific descriptions of extrinsic and intrinsic qualities. How would each character die? Who – or what – would your villain be?