Weekend Writing Warriors- December 14, 2014

 Weekend Writing Warriors –  It would be great to connect with other horror readers/writers.  I struggle to capture the ominous tone, create the appropriately spooky setting, and introduce characters who don’t annoy you…  

Without further ado, here’s an 8 sentence snippet from the first chapter of a new, yet-untitled Work in Progress (WIP).  

He lifted the door to the root cellar, first on one side, and then the other. They yawned open to the left, and to the right. Each fell with a dull and wooden thud, revealing a hole with stairs that faded into darkness. The hard-cider smell of fermenting apples coupled with the organic must of earth rose from the room below.

Come, said the boy. Let’s have an adventure. He stroked her cheek.

Ladies first.

root cellar


12 Comments Add yours

  1. I thought your description here was good, but it might be even stronger if you condense it a bit. I don’t know if that makes sense? If you want to make it more ominous (not sure if that was the intent in this snippet) you could add in more powerful descriptions that would jostle your characters. The smell of apple cider and dust isn’t scary. Maybe it smells like a dead body, and they get down there and find a dead rat. That would give your characters a chance to argue a bit. One of them wants to go down there while the other one doesn’t. I don’t read suspense though and don’t write it well, so perhaps take my opinion with a grain of salt 😛 I’m curious what’s down there though. Maybe I’ll find out next week?

    1. veganrose says:

      Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts! I felt the hole needed to be approachable and seem safe… if it smelled fetid the girl would be too reluctant to enter. The snippet out of context is certainly less compelling without the set up and follow-through. ~Rosie

  2. Millie Burns says:

    I think him stroking her cheek is a little creepy…let’s have an adventure? I don’t think it has to be overtly scary right off the bat, and cellars are musty funky places where bad things can happen…

    1. veganrose says:

      Thank you for your feedback… these are teen-agers- perhaps the use of the words girl and boy implies they are little children which wasn’t my intent. This isn’t the opening of the story, so the snippet may be losing something when it is ready out of context!

  3. Frank Fisher says:

    Great imagery with the fermenting apples. From the image, that cellar looks spooky. I don’t think she should go in, especially not before him. The snippet overall didn’t convey horror, but horror stories don’t have to start off that way. You’ve done a great job nonetheless.

    1. veganrose says:

      Thank you for your thoughts… yes, the horror needs to unfold! I used the apple smell because the root cellar had been used as a fruit vault, and I wanted it to be perceived as fairly benign for her to be willing to go in…

      1. Frank Fisher says:

        The horror will unfold. It’s good that there is pleasantness in the story before the horror. I’m sharing a horror snippet today too. I hope you’ll read it.

      2. veganrose says:

        Thank you, Frank. Yes, there needs to be a balance. Some normalcy so that the horror catches you off guard… I think it’s the shift f that makes the scare more affective. I’d love to ready your snip. Heading there now!

  4. I felt like I was there, staring into that dark root cellar and thinking “no, don’t go there!” Excellent excerpt!

    1. veganrose says:

      Thanks, Veronica… I was going for spooky, but didn’t want to be too cliche…

  5. It’s lulling you into a false sense of security. Can’t wait till the next 8 sentences to find out what happens.

    1. veganrose says:

      Thanks, JK… that’s what I was shooting for!

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