How to Add SPOOK to Your Story

It’s October, and I’m loving the fall weather! But all the ghosties and spiderwebs around the neighborhoods got me thinking: what are some ways to make our writing spooky?

So today we’ll discuss three quick tips to add some spook to any story. Here we go!

The Sound of Language

I’m pretty sure I’ve discussed this before, but just in case, or if you’re new to the blog, one of the easiest ways to set the tone of a story is by deliberately choosing specific words.

Let’s look at an example, and you decide which sounds spookier:

  1. cemetery
  2. graveyard

If you picked graveyard, then you’re among the majority of readers!

You see, the way a word sounds can do a lot to set the tone and feel of a piece of work. Many soft sounds like ‘s’ and ‘h’ (or a ‘c’ that sounds like ‘s’) can lend a feeling of peace and contentment to a passage. But the use of harder sounds like ‘g’ and ‘k’ can introduce harsher thoughts to a reader, good for thrillers and horror or scenes that you want to feel scary.

Word Choice

But beyond just the sound, think about how your words affect the feel of a story.

If you describe something as ‘rosy’, that won’t have quite the same effect as ‘scarlet’ or ‘crimson.’ Much like above, scarlet and crimson have the harsher sounds…but they are also associated with spooky themes like blood, unlike rosy which may lead a reader to think of flowers (not so scary).

So think about the connotations your word choice has. What images are naturally evoked by the word? Will it add to your feeling of spookiness?

Descriptions

Bringing both of those two things together are descriptions. Use the word sounds and connotations to create spooky imagery. Instead of a vast rose garden, why not dead beds of thorns? Or rather than a child’s baby doll, there may be a cracked porcelain doll head.

Use your knowledge of word sounds and usage to paint a creepy picture, and immerse us in the scene.

Draw in all the senses.

Make us feel the spookiness, like the chill down our spine. The call of an owl. The sticky web stuck to our face.

Setting can do so much to create the tone for your story, so use it like the power tool it is!

Now, take these spooky ideas, and go write a spooky story!

~~~

News!

Last week was the cover reveal for Pumpkin Spice Pie-Jinks! If you missed it, hop back to the post to catch up. I’m approaching the end of the editing and uploading process, so it will be available oh so soon!

In the meantime, be sure to add it to Goodreads so you don’t miss the release!

Pumpkin Spice Pie-Jinks Cover Reveal!

Guys, it’s time! I don’t have an official buy link for you yet, but I am ready to share the beautiful cover of Pumpkin Spice Pie-Jinks with you!

But first, the blurb.

When fate comes knocking, feed it pie!

Reese was never a risk-taker…that is, until she quit her job to open a bakery serving magical pies from her home. Now, she has the opportunity of a lifetime to win a contract with the visiting Autumn Court. But when two troublesome Fae appear on her doorstep, determined to find a mate for their prince, Reese’s life is thrown into chaos, and she begins to question every choice she has made. Can she learn to take a risk on her new life, despite the troubles around her? Or will the mischief of the Fae drive her business into ruin–forcing her to move back in with her parents? This light and entertaining tale is inspired by Hansel & Gretel and is a perfect way to celebrate the autumn season.

You can add it to Goodreads now!

And now, the main event!

*drumroll*

Savannah once again did a beautiful job catching Reese as I imagined her. I love the whimsy and fun I can feel in this title, and I feel like it fits with the story perfectly!

Let’s take a look at how Savannah put it all together:

Just, wow. From a florist and a cat in a basket to a baker, a magic pie, and adorable little Nutmeg!

Okay, okay. Since we’re talking treats, and it IS October now, how about a little taste of Nutmeg herself?

Don’t forget to add it to Goodreads, and keep an eye out for the official release link!