You’re in the middle of writing a horror story, but your monster just doesn’t seem that scary. What to do? How about conducting an interview with him? Why should you take time out of your busy day to interview your antagonist you ask? Well, besides being fun it will:
1) Give you insight into their motivation.
What’s their back story? What happened that makes them act the way they do? When you know the answers to these questions, your antagonist will seem believable and being believable makes them scarier.
2) Help you find the angel in the devil
Even the evilest person has some redeeming quality. They should have an inner struggle going on. Show us how they lost that struggle. What was it that threw them over the edge? It’s important to also have a devil in the angel. If your hero is 100% angel, your readers want to put a finger down their throat.
How to interview the monster:
1. You’re a reporter and have been assigned to interrogate your monster/murderer/villain.
2. Next, list ten questions to ask them. More questions will come to you during the interview.
3. Imagine you are sitting in their room/cave/prison cell and start your dialogue.
4. How do they respond? Do they reveal anything that would make your hair stand on end?
5. Don’t just do this in your head, actually write it out.
6. Don’t forget to have a brief description of them, their mannerisms and quirks.
7. If the conversation goes in a completely different direction, go with it!
8. Share it. Have a friend read the interview and give you feed back.
Monsters aren’t real, but doing this exercise will make them seem authentic and lend credibility to your story. After all, you “met” with them and figured out what makes them terrifying.
Want to see an example of this? Keep your eye out for next week’s blog where I interview a hag.