The secret of writing a good ghost story

She received her MFA in fiction from Cornell University, and her short fiction has appeared in several literary magazines. She has worked as a writer and editor for Epicurious, Gourmet.

The secret of writing a good ghost story

Share via Email Cornelia Funke: Of course I was! So I wrote Ghosthunters, a series about a boy who was terrified by ghosts but finally became one of the most famous ghost hunters of all times.

I wrote four books about him, but there are at least a thousand ways to tell a ghost story and when I started working on Ghost Knight I felt as if I had never written about ghosts before! I will nevertheless try my best to come up with 10 rules about this wonderful theme of storytelling.

Choose your tone Decide whether you want to go funny or grim. You can of course do both, but you should decide about the general tone of your story. Which of course may convince you while you are writing that you made the wrong decision… 2.

Choose your ghost Do you want your reader to love or fear the ghost? Answering these questions may reveal a lot about the story you want to tell. Mix it up We all know the classic ingredients for creating a spooky atmosphere: It is cold and foggy. There are plenty of very old buildings and probably graveyards.

It can be incredibly satisfying to use ALL of these ingredients and play with them in your very own way. But if you are tired of these kinds of ghost stories read some tales from the Caribbean or Asia.

They will give you some very different ideas on ghosts! Give your ghost a life story Decide where your ghosts come from. How many are there? Do you tell the story of one or many?

Were they once human? If yes, were they He or She? Grown up or child? How did they die?

the secret of writing a good ghost story

When did they live? You can make them historical characters like I did in Ghost Knight, which is so much fun and vastly inspiring. Or do you deal with a spirit of demonic origins? Give your ghostly hero a biography.

Imagine them so clearly that you feel them behind you. What does their voice sound like? Do they have one?

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Is their breath cold or hot? Set some rules Rules: So what can ghosts do? Can they hurt you? When do they show up? How can you destroy them? A ghost story is very often about death and guilt, about life unlived, about loss.

The more you explore these themes, the better it gets. You can ask all the big questions.But let me remind you of a very important fact: you aren’t writing a ghost story to impress your high-school English teacher. You’re not trying to prove how clever you are. You’re trying to scare people.

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Ghost stories deal with subjects and situations focusing on hauntings, spirits, and interactions with the dead. These may be in the form of fiction or non-fiction. Haunting is used as a plot device in horror fiction and paranormal-based fiction.

A Good Ghost Story Why, hello, there. So you want a good ghost story, eh? Well, I can’t assure you that I have either fantastic story or implausible tale that most authors these days tend to elaborate.

No. My story is — what do you call it? Ah, classical classical yet true. ; The War To Sell You A Mattress Is An Internet Nightmare Why did Casper sue a mattress blogger? A closer look reveals a secret, multimillion-dollar battle to get you into bed. This instantly leaves you in no doubt that the story is going to be a ghost story.

The rest of the opening includes a man with a ‘withered arm’, a man with a ‘shade’ and an ‘old woman’ which creates the spooky atmosphere from the start.

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The Ghost Army of World War II describes a perfect example of a little-known, highly imaginative.

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