As a Londoner one of my biggest annoyances is when I get on the wrong train! However after you've read The Wrong Train you have to sort of readdress you life and think me going two stops in the wrong direction isn't too bad and I should be grateful I didn't get on a different kind of train altogether. ISNT THAT RIGHT JEREMY.....and Jeremy can't be allowed to just write things like that and get away with it...especially not on Halloween! So when it came round to our stop on the blog tour...well we'll just let Jeremy tell you about that...They don't call us Dark Readers for nothing Muhahahahahah
‘It’s for Halloween,’ the people at Dark Readers said. ‘Go in there and tell us about creating a horror setting using the five senses.’ They pointed at the cellar door and we all laughed, and I went along with the joke, stepped inside, and let them close the door behind me.
‘You can’t come out till you’ve done it,’ they said.
We were all still laughing, but then they turned the key and suddenly the joke wasn't so funny anymore, because they didn’t open the door again. They put on their coats, turned out the lights.
‘Five Senses,’ they called as they left.
Then it was all quiet.
I’ve been shouting as loud as I can for an hour or more now, but there’s no-one to hear me. So, let’s do this thing - a setting using the six senses of horror.
Trust me, It’s the sixth one that puts the knife beneath the skin. But first I’ll just try and sit down because to be very honest it’s dark in here and I don’t want to get too close to the stairs.
There, sitting down.
Big remember - you can make a setting as scary as you like but unless you’ve got a story to put in it, all you’ve got is scenery and decorations. Story is always King Write that, in blood if needs be, across the top of everything you start.
Here we go.
What you can almost see is always way more scary than what you can’t see at all. Like this dark cellar - what worries me most is not the dark, but that I can almost see into the shadows at the bottom of the stairs. Anything might be in there.
Sounds - just on their own aren’t frightening. You need to make someone anxious about what’s making the noise. Don’t make it complicated, just associate one simple noise with the bad thing in the story, and then when that noise happens again everyone needs to watch out. Like the noise from the bottom of the stairs, don’t know what it is, but not feeling too good about it.
Smell - doesn’t have to be bad. It might be a lady's perfume all sweet and honey, but if the sweet smell brings the bad thing, you’re not going to want to smell that perfume. In The Wrong Train I linked the smell of cheap aftershave to a bad thing - only the girl in the story could smell it. Right now, what I don’t like is that this cellar smells of something rotting. Something dead.
As for touch, the wetness of buckets of gore and slime are just repulsive. Be far more subtle than that. You’re not after repulsion, you’re after fear. For example, I’m not one bit happy that as I write this there seems to be something in the dark with me. Every so often, I can feel its breath.
Taste is a tricky one - really subjective thing, taste is. As with smell, if I were going to use it in a setting I’d associate a particular taste with something bad about to happen. Having said that, I can taste that smell of rot on my tongue too. It’s not a good thing.
That sixth sense, and it’s the one that drives fear, is - Anxiety. That feeling that something is just not right, not safe. It’s every bit as real a sense as the other five put together. If you can fire that one up, boy howdy, you’re on your way.
And if you want to make someone anxious, let me tell you now that locking them in a dark cellar and leaving them there is a strong start because anything might happen to them and none of it promises to be good.
So, I’d like to come out now, guys. It’s not funny anymore.
Don;t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour which can be found below...and check out our review of The Wrong Train HERE
Oh and HAPPY HALLOWEEN