Action horror

No feeling of dread, no slow build up of suspense, will feel worth it unless there’s some sort of payoff at the end! You need to see the nightmare unfold.

For the last exercise we leave the shadows and show the monster. They need a dramatic entrance, a description of their most horrific features and the protagonist’s reaction to the whole scene. The last part of the snippet is also important. Just because the monster is revealed, doesn’t mean that dread and suspense leave—make sure there are barriers to escaping the nightmare.

Finally, you need action! Lots of action! Even the monster is defined by their actions.

Here we go.

Before I could say another word, the fence crumbled to the ground, and the monster came bursting out.

It had a head like a wolf — snapping jaws of gleaming white teeth — and a body like a giant crab. It swung four huge claws in front of it, clicking them at us as its snout pulled open in a throaty growl.

“NOOOOOOO!” Marty and I both let out howls of terror.

We jumped to our feet.

But there was nowhere to run.

Here’s an example in the same style, based on the picture.

Before I could take another step, the little girl in the white dress started to shudder violently, split her skin and grow to over twice her size. But this was no longer a girl.

What floated before me looked like an old crone — if crones were green, glowing and could fly — fingers of energy escaped her body, hitting the ground beneath her. She glared at me with dead, sunken eyes, raised a shrivelled arm and pointed at me with a needle-like claw. A hiss erupted from her which broke into something like a cackle. It was a dry, lifeless laugh.

“Uh… uh…” I spluttered, my brain trying to process what I was seeing.

I turned to run.

But the path behind me had vanished - a thick wall of gnarled trees stood in its place.

Your turn now. Time to unleash the terror! 

Give it a dramatic entrance, describe the horror, and show the reaction. Add suspense by slowing your protagonist’s escape! Fill your writing with actions, including using them to describe your monster.

Write some action-filled horror based on the picture, where a threat reveals itself.