If you’re thinking about writing a horror story, there are storylines you should avoid because they’ve been done repeatedly over the years and now they’re stale. Choosing a cliché storyline for your narration invalidates your story because everyone that reads it will keep relating it to others, like stories they’ve read in the past.
As a writer, you want to ensure that your work is thought of as unique and original. That’s why you should think of a never explored storyline when creating new work. Since you’re a budding author who has not made a name for themselves yet, you should know that your earlier work will be judged harshly because readers are still figuring out if you’re worth your salt.
Don’t take this as a negative thing because it motivates you to work harder and create better work. And since the horror genre has been exhausted, this is your opportunity to come up with something your readers will actually love. Consider partnering with a reliable English essay writing service who will help you tweak and proofread the final copy.
Consider reading through other authors’ work to discover new writing techniques you can apply in your writings. Note that this does not include borrowing their narrative and changing a few details to make a new story. Be very aware of what you’re picking from an author’s work because your brain can accidentally hold on to the storyline and you’ll only find this out when you’re creating your own work.
Take as much time as you need to prepare to ensure that you impress your readers with something they’ve never read before. A unique horror story motivates the reader to keep going because the not knowing builds anticipation and creates suspense as they move from one page to the next. Since you’re trying for the big scare, you want to have your readers at the edge of their seats, hearts pumping out of their chests.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some storylines you should absolutely avoid.
The Woman Alone in the Old Dark House
We’ve started off the list with this storyline not only because it’s been overdone, but also because it portrays women as weak and vulnerable. It perpetuates the narrative that women are always in danger and are more likely to have horrid experiences. While this might be the reality of many women, perpetuating the narrative solidifies circumstances that should not be encouraged. Steering clear from this cliché and inhumane storyline ensures you don’t add fuel to this fire.
It’s alarming how it’s mostly male authors who explore this storyline because it says a lot about how they view women. What’s worse, the perpetrators are usually men who appear to not see the woman as human. While this satisfies the requirements of the horror genres, it goes deeper than that. It instills fear in female readers while making the male reading audience perceive women as the weaker gender.
We might sit here and pretend that what people read does not influence their perception of the world, but deep down we know it’s true. I bet you remember that one book that completely changed your life. Maybe it was a self-help book that allowed you to tap into your greatest potential. If a self-help book can influence your view of the world, so can a horror story.
As a Millennial or Gen Z writer who is in touch with social issues, you know that the last thing you want to do is portray one gender in a way that minimizes their humanness. There are several other ways to raise the tension and still uphold gender equality.
The Kid Whose Mom Isn’t Mom Anymore
This storyline was relevant for a long time because many people could relate to disconnecting with their parents. The millennials began the conversation about toxic parents and it’s now clear that many parents didn’t show up for their kids as they grew up. Being raised by an abusive or absent parent gives you trauma that stays with you all your life unless you unpack what you’re feeling with a therapist.
As you prepare to write your story, ensure you look for essay writing sites you can engage to ensure you don’t use this storyline. Brainstorming with a professional writer ensures you get insight on some of the story lines that have been overdone over the years. While readers will relate with a story that involves an abandoned child, this is not a narrative you should perpetuate. Embrace horror approaches that don’t encourage parents to neglect their responsibilities.
Now that you know some of the cliché storylines to avoid, ensure you take your time to research more on the same. Discovering all the overdone horror storylines ensures you know what you cannot work with.