Horror Reveal

Horror Reveal

Traci Kenworth

 

Is it better to reveal the monster in the beginning all at once or to show glimpses as you go along? I prefer doing the snaps, the flashes that make the characters wonder: what’s out there? To tease the reader with your monster leads to a build-up that you must pay off in the end, each time the monster enters, you show a bit more than before. The teeth. The claws. The horrible, stinky breath. Each reveal getting a little closer and in-your-face. That’s how you build suspense, that’s how you make your reader gasp when the reveal happens.

When you go all out in the beginning, there’s no mystery, nothing to make the terror in your heart grow. Most horror writers know this and stick to this pattern. You don’t show the thing in the basement in scene one, but make the reader hear it, smell it, imagine it in their minds before you bring it on stage. It ups the ante, so to speak. So when, at last, that door opens and the thing creeps up behind the hero or heroine, we anticipate/shrink in fear/scream at what they see when they turn around.

What do you think? Show things up front, or take it slow?

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2 thoughts on “Horror Reveal

  1. I think it depends. I most always head the same way you do – but there are times when bringing out the monster might make for more head games later. still, I prefer the building of tension. 🙂

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Vanessa!! Yes, perhaps anticipating those same claws, teeth, scaly skin would send the reader shivering under blankets with the book in dread of when the monster appears. Good point!!

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