By The Fire: Episode 138 Challenge 2

Hey horror addicts, In Episode 138 of the podcast The Next Great Horror Writer contest moves forward and the task this time is a little harder. This time the contestants had to write a 250-300 word story about a monster. Participants were tested on their ability to scare with description in a short amount of time, and be judged on their monster, scare factor, and complete story concept. Sounds like a hard task but not to a good writer.

I love this challenge because it deals with monsters and what horror fan doesn’t like a good monster story. My favorite monster has always been the werewolf. I love the concept of having a split personality and not being able to control it. The person who becomes a werewolf can be the nicest person in the world but when the full moon comes out he becomes a savage monster and he can’t control his blood lust. My favorite comic character as a kid was The Incredible Hulk for the same reason. Dr. Banner was a genius and a humanitarian but when he got mad, the beast came out. The same concept holds true for Dr. Jekyll And My Hyde. The idea of a savage beast living inside you that has to come out from time to time is an idea that doesn’t get old.

Another monster that doesn’t get old is vampires. There are so many different ways to tell a vampire story and every vampire can have a different personality. It surprises me how many vampire novels I’ve read that all come up with a fresh spin on an old mythology. A good writer can make any monster interesting. Maybe one of the contestants will have an idea for a new monster that none of us have ever heard of before. There is always something new to add to a monster story.

What kind of monsters will our writers use? Werewolves, vampires, a human monster or maybe something else out of the ordinary. Is 300 words enough time for a complete story, an imaginative monster, and a big scare? In the hands of a good writer, it is.  Who will you be rooting for in this competition? Do you have your own 300-word story you want to share with us? What is your favorite monster and why?  If you have an opinion leave a comment on this blog post and let us know your feelings. Be sure to listen to episode 138 and hear what are contestants come up with.


By The Fire: Episode 137 100 Word Horror Stories

Hello Addicts, the new season of the Horror Addicts podcast has begun and things are a little different this season. Season 12 of the podcast is all about The Next Great Horror Writer Contest. Since the competition was announced we’ve had over 130 people who entered the contest. The first challenge for the writers was to make a 100-word horror story, which brings us to the topic of this blog post. For each new challenge that our contestants perform I will be writing a post about the challenge.  I’ll be calling this series of posts,  By The Fire to give the feeling that we’re sitting by the fire and talking about the topic.

Writing a 100-word horror story is no easy task if you ask me. In just a few words you have to tell a story and scare someone with it. So the most important part of a short scary story is the description. Be it a haunted house, scary monster or possibly a horrific massacre, making it come to life is the most important part of the story. The 100-word horror story is a great test of a writer’s skill because to get a reaction you have to do it quick.

Two other elements that are important to the 100-word horror story is for it to have the main character and a conflict. The main character doesn’t have to be good or bad but he or she does have to be involved in some kind of conflict. It could be someone describing a murder they are about to commit or maybe someone running from a monster, whatever it is there has to be a conflict. So to sum things up there are three important elements to the 100-word horror story: Description, the main character, and conflict.

A great thing about a 100-word story is that they’re a quick way to get to know a new writer.  A good short horror story can pack a wallop and if it’s really good it can revisit you in your nightmares. So horror addicts, do you have a favorite 100-word horror story, or do you want to tell us a 100-word story? If you have a scary tale to tell share it with us in the comments and don’t forget to listen to episode 137 of the podcast to hear some short stories from our Next Great Horror Writer contestants.