Inspiration For Your Spooky Novel

The witching hour is upon us! If you are in the midst of writing a spooky novel or think you want to write one, continue reading for some inspiration.

Looking at pictures is a great way to get your creative juices flowing. Browse the collection below and let your imagination take flight!

Abandoned Building

Cemetery

Old Hotel

Forest at Night

Thunderstorm

Marsh/Swamp

If you are up for it take some time to go to one of the places above to enhance your imagination. Bonus points if you have a haunted place near you. 

Another great way to get inspiration is from your favorite thriller/spooky books. Check out a few of our favorites below!

Something Wicked This Way Comes – Grim Reaper

Tomorrow is Halloween! Just in time for one last creature of the dark analysis…

We have talked about ghouls, zombies, and mummies but today we will talk about the lord of death…the grim reaper. His job entails collecting the souls of the people when their time on earth is done. He is known to be very diligent in his job and always meets his deadlines. He is someone you will not want to see. 

Origins of the Grim Reaper appear in the fourteenth century when Europe was overcome by the Black Plague. During this time many artists began painting skeletons with deadly weapons and eventually the black cloaked figure became the first recognizable Reaper. It is said that his dark costume and curved scythe (the large weapon he carries around) may have been inspired by the plague doctors who wore dark shrouds and bird-like masks to protect themselves from breathing bad air. 

However, the name Grim Reaper did not appear until the nineteenth century. Getting its origins from the popular nickname for death “the Grim’. 

His special abilities include being able to separate the soul from the body, and then becomes a guide to help you find your way to the next realm. 

Today the Grim Reaper remains to be a favorite Halloween costume, and has appeared in novels and films. He has become the world’s most iconic personification of death. 

Spook up your next novel with a Grim Reaper character!

Write on!

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Spooktacular Books!

Here are a few of our favorite books at Hershman Rights Management for this special season!

Like most people, I like to pair what I am reading to my environment. For example, during Christmas time I can get comfy on the couch to a good Christmas theme book and hot cocoa. However, considering that it is Halloween season any one of these books paired with hot apple cider will do!

Most of these books focus on Halloween themed creatures, like ghosts or witches, or have a mystery thriller theme. Who doesn’t like a good spook this time of year?

Have Fun Reading!

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Something Wicked This Way Comes – Zombies

Another week closer to Halloween means another creature to talk about, and zombies sure are being talked about a lot these past few years. I wonder if it is all the grunting and moaning that makes them so popular or maybe the classic zombie walk, but whatever it is it seems to have made its mark on pop culture. 

First, let’s take it back to where it all began. Before the world became futuristically invaded with zombies we had their first appearance in Haitian folklore. Bokor sorcerers would raise corpses from the dead and control them as personal slaves. 

From there zombies had their first Hollywood screen performance in 1932 in White Zombie. However, they didn’t take full center stage until the release of Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video in 1983. Appearing again and again on screen in movies and video games,  these creatures continue to be apart of creepy culture. 

Some of their strengths include being impervious to pain, they never need to sleep, and can sustain massive injuries without feeling pain. However, they no longer have a high functioning brain and they move slow. 

You have most likely seen these creatures in an apocalyptic theme movie or book. Both with a classic theme and some unthinkable twists, as there is a lot to talk about with these ever appearing creatures. 

This Halloween season maybe you want to spruce up your spooky series with a zombie or two (as they also mostly travel in groups)? Create your own creature twist and dig a little deeper into all things zombie!

Halloween Zombie GIF by Scooby-Doo

Happy Spooktober!

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Something Wicked This Way Comes – The Ghoul

In the spirit of Halloween it is only right to dedicate this time to the creatures of the dark that we may not typically pay attention to. Join me each week until Halloween to find out what lies beneath the scales and fangs. 

First and foremost… the ghoul. 

Each creature comes from different mythology and pertains to different legends. That being said the ghoul originates under Arabic mythology. They have the ability to shape-shift and are known for inhabiting places like graveyards or deserts. Their true form are known to be hairy and canine like, but one of their most distinct features is their hoof like imprints, and most commonly known to be crawling on all fours. 

However, with so many stories and renditions we see the ghoul in many different forms, for example…

Ghoul on Netflix focuses on “the ghoul” from Arabic Mythology that can shape-shift, and is known for its hoof like print. 

In Supernatural a popular Sci-Fi TV show ghouls are not dead but a form of monster. They typically live in graveyards and feed on human flesh both dead and alive. They can also shape-shift and the only way of killing a ghoul is complete decapitation. 

Tokyo Ghoul is a popular anime show about a character who gets bit by a ghoul and becomes half ghoul – half human. In this version ghouls look exactly like humans but like to eat human flesh. 

So next time you are writing a story and want to incorporate a ghoul think about what features you want to show and the presence it plays among humans.

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Writing To Thrill

It’s almost Halloween! I love holidays and getting in the ‘spirit.’ The Guardian featured an article this morning by author Matt Ralphs about writing tips for thriller/horror novels. It was just so fittingly perfect that I needed to share it on my own blog in order to deck it out with some holiday cheer. Writing to thrill isn’t easy. If you do it wrong then all you are left with is a rather boring and uneventful story. If your readers aren’t shaking in their own shoes (or socks) then you are most certainly doing it wrong. People read thrillers to be scared, for the action, for the suspense. A disconnected story line, minimal suspense, and no lingering questions just won’t cut it. Here are a few tips to ensure that your next thriller won’t be your last (insert evil laugh here).

halloween

  1. Fear is diverse.

If you really want a unique story, search for a unique fear. The “go-to” fears include death, pain, and the paranormal. These subjects can easily be overdone and even bordering on cliche. There are so many other phobias and outlandish fears out there, why stick with the mundane? Separate yourself from the pack from the very first sentence.

2. Write from experience.

The key to writing to thrill is authenticity. People need to believe what is happening in order to be scared. If you write from experience and recall every thought and feeling you had at that moment, your writing becomes most genuine. You aren’t imagining what is happening, you know what is happening.Remember a time that you were scared or spooked out and write with that emotion.

3. Understand the science behind it.

Fear is an interesting thing and does some interesting things to our bodies. Do some research on fear before you sit down to write. Having real life knowledge of what it chemically does to our bodies will allow you to write a more effective and believable story.

4. Learn from others. 

Do your homework. Read other thriller and horror novels and find out what makes them so scary. What made you jump a little in your chair and why? You can also venture outside books to other resources like movies. Seeing the fear played out might help you notice something that hasn’t occurred to you before.

5. Tailor your space to fit your writing.

Being scared is all about the senses. Write your stories in a place that gives off a spooky ambiance. Feeling the scene for yourself will help you portray it better to your readers. Write a story about a location you can easily get to. Dim the lights when writing. Or listen to some creepy music.

6. Know ‘the killer combination.’

Character, peril, and location all work together to create scary scenes. Create at least one likable character, transport your reader into the middle of the action, and picking an obscure location builds the most suspense and yields the most investment from readers.

7. Tension is key.

Don’t lay all your cards on the table from the very beginning. Hint at things, but keep them hidden. Readers like to have an idea of what is going to happen, not when it’s going to happen. Keep them on their toes till the very end.

8. Make sure the tension pays off.

Don’t build up suspense to nothing, readers will surely be disappointed. If you work so hard to keep the tension brewing, make sure to give the readers what they want. A failed end will result in a failed book.

9. Look to history for ideas. 

History is filled with spooky stories and unexplained events. Sink your teeth into history and soak up the inspiration. You don’t need to write a historical thriller in order to seek ideas from the past.

10. Let the reader do most of the work.

Our imaginations are crazy things. We don’t need too much detail in order to start conjuring up the craziest scenes in our own heads. Be subtle and don’t give too much away. The readers will scare themselves.

Write on.