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narnia
03-24-2007, 08:50 AM
Hello everyone,
My WIP is going to be a scary story when complete, at least that is my stated goal! :D

I thought I might go back and read the only book that I can recall ever scaring me enough not to read next to a window of any kind, to see why it scared me, but that book is no longer in print. (It was 'The Wolfen' by Whitley Strieber, and it could just be hazy memories.....) I could order a used copy but I am going out of town in a few days and would like to take something along to distract me from cramped-leg-airline syndrome so that won't work.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a good scary book?

Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!

P.S. If anyone reads this after the fact please feel free post a suggestion anyway - you can never read too many scary books!

Linda Adams
03-24-2007, 03:38 PM
You might want to post this on the horror board. Mysteries and suspense tend not to be scary, and thrillers can be, but not like The Wolfen.

narnia
03-24-2007, 09:22 PM
Hi Linda, and thanks for the advice. I am very very new to this whole 'writing' world, my only qualification being a life-long desire to write. I know I have a lot to learn! I guess my problem is that I am still not sure how to categorize the book I am working on, so perhaps what I want to read for some 'inspiration' may not be a book like 'The Wolfen'. I mentioned that one because it is the only one I can recall scaring me, although it was over 20 years ago...

I am not thinking blood and gore, witches, vampires, werewolves, etc. My WIP does involve a ghost (or two), however. The basic premise is the story of a woman who lives in a haunted house, has a cheating husband who claims she is imagining things (what is happening in the house as well as the cheating!), and she has to deal with the whole mess while questioning her sanity. She does some investigation and discovers the story behind her ghost (a woman hung for murdering her husband). There is also a subplot of a mssing child (and potential serial killer) that will be the basis for a second book that I am working on in tandem. The books are based in fact to some extent. So, what am I writing? (scratches her head)

I followed your links and read some of the docs you posted. In the Mystery vs. Thriller list I can more closely identify my goal with the thriller/suspense side, but is that what I am working on? In the Amazon description for Ms. Skillman's 'Writing the Thriller' it says "Suspense is emotional. It's surprise and confusion and fear and anticipation. And suspense is danger. Immediate danger." These are elements I want my book to contain. One variety of thriller mentioned is psychological suspense, which is sort of what I thought I was going for, maybe. :D Can a thriller have a ghost? A ghost who is one of the sources of the psychological suspense?

I will pick up Ms. Skillman's book if I can locate it, looks like a good starting point, and read more of the info on your site. Thanks very very very much!

If anyone has any ideas I would be most grateful!

Jersey Chick
03-25-2007, 06:00 AM
I recommend Stephen King's The Shining. It's one of the scariest books I've ever read. When my husband and I were first married, he worked the front desk at a hotel. He was working the overnight shift and I gave it to him to read - he sat in the office with his back against the wall because he was so creeped out and nothing scares him... :)

C.bronco
03-25-2007, 06:24 AM
Clive Barker's Books of Blood. They're shorts, but good ones. Any Stephen King is fantastic. H.P. Lovecraft can't be beat, and I really liked Peter Straub's Shadowland.

narnia
03-26-2007, 06:51 AM
Thanks everyone! I will go shopping! (like I ever need an excuse to do that..) I have seen the movie 'The Shining' multiple times but I never thought to read the book (and I call myself a writer). I'll start there and move on to Messrs. Barker, Lovecraft, and Straub.

Shara
03-26-2007, 04:14 PM
While you're looking for The Shining, you could do worse than to pick up one of Mr King's short story collections. One of the earlier ones. Not all of his short stories are scary, but every once in a while a real gem stands out.

Two stories that spring to mind are 'Survivor Type' and 'The Raft'. I can't remember which short story collection each appears in. I read these years and years ago. But they're still with me, after all this time.

Shara

C.bronco
03-26-2007, 04:46 PM
While you're looking for The Shining, you could do worse than to pick up one of Mr King's short story collections. One of the earlier ones. Not all of his short stories are scary, but every once in a while a real gem stands out.

Two stories that spring to mind are 'Survivor Type' and 'The Raft'. I can't remember which short story collection each appears in. I read these years and years ago. But they're still with me, after all this time.

Shara
My favorite King collection was the Night Shift collection. So many of those stories were made into movies too.

narnia
03-28-2007, 01:56 AM
Thanks everyone!

Inkdaub
03-28-2007, 02:39 PM
Try 'The Black Angel' by John Connolly.

Actually, maybe not. This book is part of a series and is probably better if you read the others first.

narnia
04-04-2007, 07:11 AM
Thanks again. I will add more to my list!

Vincent
04-04-2007, 07:17 AM
Two stories that spring to mind are 'Survivor Type' and 'The Raft'. I can't remember which short story collection each appears in. I read these years and years ago. But they're still with me, after all this time.

Shara

They're both in Skeleton Crew.

EDIT:

Also in there is The Mist, which is right now being made into a movie. *fingers crossed*

benbradley
04-04-2007, 07:58 AM
If you want to read a classic scary story, just click here. (http://gaslight.mtroyal.ab.ca/mnkyspaw.htm)
I barely remember that this was required reading from the ninth grade. I didn't think of it again for over 30 years, then I reread it about a year ago. Of the required readings in high school, this was the most memorable.

narnia
04-06-2007, 05:36 AM
Thanks once more, everyone!

Ben, that truly was a blast from the past! I am sure I read it once upon a time (probably *cough* around the same time you did ;) ), but my most vivid memories of this story are sitting around a campfire, clutching the person next to me as we listened.

Sounds like Mr. King is the ultimate in scary reads to most folks so far. I am reading 'On Writing' right now but 'The Shining' is on deck. I have seen the movie a billion times but I have never read the book. And after seeing episodes of TAPS where that door opened and closed by itself ... okay, maybe it was fake but I'm open-minded!!

:eek:

Will Lavender
04-06-2007, 06:16 AM
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn.

No ghosts. No paranormal tropes of any kind. But absolutely terrifying.

narnia
04-06-2007, 06:58 AM
Hi Will! I just did some research on your recommendation, and with all due respect to Mr. King, this will be in my hands by tomorrow evening, moved to the top of the list. If the reviews are any indication, I'll start 'The Shining' on Monday.