So how do you use this in your writing? You don't have to be a horror writer or suspense writer to infuse fear--at least the kind that people love--into your words. Let me give you a quick breakdown of using fear in your story with a typical kind of setting:
Your main character (Let's call her Callie) lives in a small town, in a small apartment, with a typical life. She spends her weekends at the local bar where she plays pool and smiles at the boys that drink beer and keep their elbows on the tables.
What's Callie's problem, then? Callie hates her life, but she doesn't know how to get out of it. She doesn't like the typical routine. She doesn't like falling asleep alone at night. She wants to fix this. This is her problem.
Where can you input fear into this typical story? Don't just let her fall in love and blah, blah, blah, happy ending. Callie will meet a boy at the bar. She'll fall in love with said boy because he's cute, drives a motorcycle, and is everything that's bad and good at the same time. Callie will close her eyes per se, and won't realize things have gone sour until she finds herself locked in the cellar of an auto parts store. No one can hear her screams. No one can save her. Small town girl's going to miss her next shift, but that's not the biggest deal. The biggest deal, is that the bad boy left the propane on in the basement, and there's a furnace running that she can't quite seem to find the off-switch for. Oh, but bad boy couldn't have meant to do this, could he have?
See how you can infuse fear into an everyday story outline? The story above isn't horror. It may be a a little of suspense, but it's still a typical setting. By offering little images of scary things, and things that maybe every person has in the back of their mind--those ticking, itchy, crawling feelings that we ignore and write off as twitchy conscience thoughts--you can hook your reader. Make your nightmare situations come to life, and your readers will be on the edge of their seats reading the outcome. Don't be afraid to be scary. Touch into your fears, bring them to life.
Criminal Minds is a good example of a "fear" show that viewers love, and it's not horror. It's one of my favorite shows. People love it, because it preys on your psyche. It makes you think that could be me, so you can't stop watching, because you want to know if the person you're watching makes it out. If, if you were in the same situation, you would make different decisions. Would you make it out?
Since I didn't write an ending to the little story above, I would love to hear from you all and find out what happens to Callie. Email me at Elysiaregina@gmail.com, and I'll read all of your stories. I'll even feature some of your stories on a post if you send them my way, and I may write an ending of my own!
You guys are AWESOME. Keep reading, writing, dreaming, entrepreneur-ing, and being supah wicked awesome. As always, thank you for reading!