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5 Horror-Specific Writing Tips to Help with Writers Block

Photo by Ryan Snaadt on Unsplash

Written by Josie Calvert

There is nothing more painful than writer’s block, especially when you want to write something horror related. How can you write about a gruelling murder, or a ghost who cuts people’s toes off when you’re surrounded by bills and responsibilities? Well, we’ve been there, so here are some tips for when you are too!

1. Visit your local National Trust place

Forbidden romances, banquets, old family wealth … and possibly a nice cup of coffee and slice of cake from the café. How can you have writer’s block when you are surrounded by a gothic stately manor? Imagine what the old inhabitants witnessed whilst lurking around those halls. Take a look at our 4 Haunted Places to Visit in the UK post for more inspiration if the National Trust life doesn’t tickle your fancy.

2. Listen to a good instrumental playlist on Spotify

I’m sure this is a common one, but nothing beats a good eerie playlist to listen to whilst you’re writing. Stick to ambient music so you won’t be distracted from the lyrical geniuses of the charts so you can focus on your own masterpiece … and with horror sound effects or music playing in your ears, it will be a masterpiece.

3. Create a playlist for your characters

Similarly, if you’ve got your characters in mind, you can make a playlist for them. Think about what kind of music they would listen to or what songs would reflect how they are feeling in the book. This not only helps you get to develop your characters more but also gives more life to your characters and perhaps gives more solid ground to the events of your book!

4. Take a walk

So, this might be the most obvious BUT it’s how you walk that helps develop the plot of your novel. Take those headphones out, stop worrying about where you’re going or what you’re going to make for dinner, and look at your surroundings from your character’s eyes. Sure, that’s just a tree, but how would your character see that tree? Do they think it’s a beautiful work of art, or are they running away from a man with an axe and finding it the best hiding spot to go to? This could also be a good idea to listen to the playlist you made for them in tip 3!

5. Listen to true crime or horror podcast

Ah, there is nothing more beautifully relaxing than a nice warm bath with soothing bath salts, a glass of wine, some chocolate, and your favourite candles flickering away in the distance. What would make this better, you ask? Oh, a podcast about someone being viscously murdered whilst home alone. Nothing can get the creative juices flowing quite like listening to other people’s horrible experiences! In all seriousness, listening to a podcast provides a good visual tool to imagine the gruesome happenings in you

r book, and if you don’t know too much about the topic you are writing about it can also be classed as research! Here are some top-rated true crime and horror podcasts listed below:

  • My Favorite Murder

  • Tenfold More Wicked

  • The Dropout by ABC News

  • Casefile True Crime

  • Redhanded

  • Real Life Ghost Stories

  • Ghost Tales by the Fire

If you’re feeling fed up with writer’s block as you try to pen your next horror novel, try a few of these tips to see if they can help you find the inspiration that has been eluding you so far.

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