Thursday, October 31, 2013

Master List of Scary Things

[Special note: This posting is on October 31, 2013. Tomorrow, November 1, Amazon is scheduled to feature You've Got a Book in You in its Daily Deals. FYI in case you're interested in picking up an extra copy or two because you've worn yours out… or for gifts…]

Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep, Farewell My Lovely and other greats) said, "When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand."

Why? Because it's a moment that's not just heart-clutching, it's scary.

Given the season, I've been thinking about scary things and their value in literature. I'm aware that authors sometimes have trouble coming up with scary things to write about. And that's a problem.

To put that problem in the rearview mirror forever, I present the Master List of Scary Things. When in doubt, have one of these come into your story. That's my advice. You are so welcome!

Clowns
A group of clowns
Spontaneous combustion
The IRS
The school cafeteria
Bats / snakes / spiders
Tarantulas (they're a spider, but they deserve their own line item)
Credit card agreement documents
Chinese drywall


Caves
Tsunamis
Rats
Black mold
Cemeteries
Preparation H
Mobs
Zombies
A mob of zombies
Hurricanes
That sealed Tupperware thing in the back of the fridge
Crocodiles
Flesh-eating bacteria
Brain-eating bacteria
Bone-eating bacteria
Old mansions
Crypts
Wasps
A sudden black screen on your computer
Gas station bathrooms
Christopher Walken
Durian fruit
Orphanages
Nail fungus
The homeowners' association board of directors
Flash floods
Nursing homes
Komodo dragons
Basements
Rip currents
Hoarders
Artificial sweeteners
Gigantic bald guys with earrings
Mummies
Tornadoes
Quicksand
The incontinence aisle
High school reunions
Unexplained night house sounds
Vultures
Nancy Grace
Fitness equipment
Great white sharks
Hornets
Earthquakes
Precipices
Elephantiasis
Loners in cabins
Belfries
Giant squid
Deserted parking garages
Tapeworms
Bad facelifts
Chainsaws
Really high platform sandals
Outhouses

Feel free to use any or all in your next writing session.

Did I forget anything? Let me know by posting a comment!

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10 comments:

  1. Great list! I would like to add, "Teenagers".

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  2. Storage room facilities when one is alone.

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  3. Bats and komodo dragons? No No No! Try scrunching up your eyes and looking at them in a different way - then you'll see how cute they are ( works for great white sharks too).
    And as for zombies - well the only reason I get up in the morning is in the hope that the Zombie Apocalypse has started.
    Agree with everything else on your list though.

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    Replies
    1. Good advice, spottydog. It's odd how most mornings DO feel like Zombie Apocalypse to me... especially after Friday martini night....

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  4. An insane asylum can be creepy. American Horror Story, anyone? Fun
    --Tabitha Maine

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    Replies
    1. Yeah! Especially abandoned insane asylums with all the old equipment lying around...

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  5. i gave my main character in my novel for NaNo, a fear of zombies. funny thing is that she's a witch. it's day four of NaNo and I'm a day behind. but at least all day saturday, my hubby left me alone to do my writing. even did the cooking and shooed our two children away from me.

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