You are the builder of the story, so have a plan.


A. Catch reader's attention

B. Begin the conflict

2. Middle

A. Describe the events

B. Build the tension, suspense, and action

a. Put scary ideas in reader's head

b. Use dialogue - Character's talking

c. Be descriptive - See below

3. End

A. Resolve the suspense

B. Whatever happens at the end is the result of the events in the middle.

a. Sometimes it answers or resolves the tension, sometimes it leaves the reader with a pounding heart.


Additional hints for good writing:

1. Show, Don't Tell.



He was sloppy.

He dragged his sleeve through the spaghetti sauce.

She was glad to see me.

When she saw me, she ran, arms open, to give me a wonderful bear-hug hello.

I was clumsy.

I stumbled into the hall.

John had a cold.

John coughed until his ribs ached. He wiped his sore, scabbed nose for what seemed the millionth time as he reached for another cough drop.

2. Description - Use the five senses. Before you write, add some scary words to this list.

See - Use color - red, blue; bright

Touch - hard, cold, wet, rough

Smell - Cinnamon, rose, musky, rank

Sound - crunch, snap, whistle

Taste - bitter, sweet, sour

3. Verbs are important. They actually help set the tone and are quite descriptive in a short story

Example: Bland - Jane said. More descriptive - Jane screamed.

4. Put ideas in reader's head - foreshadow.

"It was Christmas eve, when Santa Claus delivers gifts to children around the world in a bell decked sleigh. .... John had just laid his head on his pillow when he heard a distant jingle of bells. (Christmas Eve, Santa Claus and bell help the reader "know" what the distant jingle of bells is.)

5. Neatness, grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. are all-important and absolutely necessary, but remember to tell a story, too.

6. This is a SCARY Story Writing Contest so: MAKE IT SCARY! by using some of the above tips!