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SidewalkSurfboard
09-02-2015, 06:03 AM
So, I'm writing a horror story, and I'm needing to know how to write decent gore. Do any of you know how to do that?

Eduard
09-02-2015, 06:52 AM
I happen to have respectable experience in both the matters of horror, and the brutality of gore.

Though my question is, how exactly would you wish to create this horror story?
While gore is often an element that exudes visceral brutality, repulsiveness, repugnance and an array of odious images that will test the wits of your descriptive and imaginative abilities, it can make a horror story turn bland if overused or employed incorrectly. It's misfortune is that it is used by many amateur horror writers as a short-road in creating a horror story, they trade the challenge of conveying emotion, tension, and thrill for the easy method of turning sanguinary fountains out of the bodies of a story's characters, and in doing so, not only do they relinquish the main elements of a horror story, but they also fail at properly employing gore.

There are other elements more appreciated in a horror story than gore, such as the increasingly grueling thrill of the unknown, of not knowing what lurks in the dark, obscurantism, the gradual tension, the discovery, and the emotions.
Many successful horror stories, in fact, have abandoned the element of gore as, like I said above, if you do not use it properly, it can ruin the potential your horror story would have had.


however
I think a decent horror story with gore elements would work if the gore would be kept to a minimum, to a level of bare necessity, and convey is at a cause, or an affliction, to the character's traumatic episodes, such as witnessing a mutilated corpse only to describe the increasing tension as the character tries to identify the body only to reach the climax where he discovers that it is actually the body of his beloved wife.

Or, you could combine it with hyperbola/exaggeration. Say, a man gets a slash on his leg that renders him limping. You have the freedom to reserve a few extra lines and describe the searing pain it sends throughout his body, the warm blood that washes his cold sweat, and in exaggerating the sight of the wound, for artistic purposes, you emphasize upon the effect it has, as it it this exact limping that prevents him from escaping from the monster chasing him.
Know what I am saying?

In the end, I would say that you do not need gore to write a good horror story. However, if you truly want to use it, then subtlety is paramount.

SidewalkSurfboard
09-02-2015, 07:21 AM
Well, the story itself is this:
The Rock Afire Explosion, an anthro band, is killed in a violent car crash. But, since the man who brought them to stardom doesn't want to lose money, he takes their dead bodies and makes it so that they're still "alive", like in this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2BxGOdYm8U), then putting them in the club they performed in and playing it off as if they were always just animatronics.

Frank LeRenard
09-02-2015, 08:40 AM
Well, the story itself is this:
The Rock Afire Explosion, an anthro band, is killed in a violent car crash. But, since the man who brought them to stardom doesn't want to lose money, he takes their dead bodies and makes it so that they're still "alive", like in this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2BxGOdYm8U), then putting them in the club they performed in and playing it off as if they were always just animatronics.

It sounds to me like you want less gore in that story than mystery. In other words, you could make it really memorable by not starting with the car crash, and instead building up to the fact that the band members are all dead by, say, writing this from a bystander's point of view (maybe just a fan of the band who gets suspicious when suddenly things seem off-puttingly different). You could ramp up to gore at the climax, once the discovery is made, and in that case, writing about gore requires the same principles as writing any kind of descriptive passages: use a few specific, carefully-chosen details to spark the reader's imagination, don't overdo it, and don't ever stop the flow of the story to give those details. The latter could be as simple as pointing things out that the protagonist sees while running away, and so on; just don't do the 'giant paragraph description-dump' method.

I love that idea for a story, though. I could totally see it as like a super fun B-grade horror movie from the 80s.

SidewalkSurfboard
09-02-2015, 08:47 AM
I'm glad you like the idea so far. Also, I did end up starting with the car crash, but the reason was because I was thinking of making it so that it's told from when it started, how the characters try to make them "alive" again, and then the installation of the corpses into the night club, and then the public getting suspicious. This is what I have so far:

On March 4th, 1986 at 11:54 pm, it was reported that there was a fatal car crash located about 143 miles away from a nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The vehicle (a large, black van) had been speeding, and had rolled while trying to turn a corner, resulting in the vehicle tumbling down the small cliff the road was located on. There were 7 people in the van at the time, and there were no survivors.

The scene was not a pretty one, not in the least. When we arrived, there was the very strong stench of fresh blood. I swallowed the lump in my throat as we got closer to the van. We switched on our flashlights, then being greeted by bits of skin, multiple patches of fur, and, as the smell had made clear, lots of blood, trickling from the inside of the mangled vehicle. I nearly passed out just thinking of what was left INSIDE the van, but Rob put his hand on my shoulder.
“Don't pass out just yet. This might be hard to look at, but we can't just leave them here...we've got to get them out of there, no matter how fucked up the contents inside might be,” he said quietly, then walking closer to the scene. I followed him, unsure whether or not this was a good idea.

Frank LeRenard
09-02-2015, 07:17 PM
Yeah, so, what I mean by 'specific details' is to avoid using vague words, and to get real down and dirty with the concepts at hand. So a sentence like "When we arrived, there was the very strong stench of fresh blood," sounds pretty weak to me. For one, it doesn't get more vague than 'very', and for two, the use of the word 'fresh', which is a word with a positive connotation most of the time, jars with the scene you're trying to build here.

What does 'fresh blood' really smell like? What about if it's spilled about on asphalt, or mixed with mangled bits of metal or hot oil? How about the interior of the van: maybe these guys were all drinking heavily before the crash, or smoking pot, or both? Maybe the van has dank carpeting in it, say, maybe they frequently had sex in there and the fabrics inside retained a lot of the smell? How about rubber smells from the wheels skidding before the crash, or marks left on the road? Is there a metaphor you could make, a comparison (that's not cliche)?

Then the same goes for the 'bits of skin' and 'multiple patches of fur'. What is 'multiple'? Where is it sticking? In the blood, puffed out over the street, stuck in gaps in the car's frame?

So just picture yourself at the scene, and then employ your imagination. Anything goes as long as it makes sense.

SidewalkSurfboard
09-02-2015, 10:50 PM
Yeah, so, what I mean by 'specific details' is to avoid using vague words, and to get real down and dirty with the concepts at hand. So a sentence like "When we arrived, there was the very strong stench of fresh blood," sounds pretty weak to me. For one, it doesn't get more vague than 'very', and for two, the use of the word 'fresh', which is a word with a positive connotation most of the time, jars with the scene you're trying to build here.

What does 'fresh blood' really smell like? What about if it's spilled about on asphalt, or mixed with mangled bits of metal or hot oil? How about the interior of the van: maybe these guys were all drinking heavily before the crash, or smoking pot, or both? Maybe the van has dank carpeting in it, say, maybe they frequently had sex in there and the fabrics inside retained a lot of the smell? How about rubber smells from the wheels skidding before the crash, or marks left on the road? Is there a metaphor you could make, a comparison (that's not cliche)?

Then the same goes for the 'bits of skin' and 'multiple patches of fur'. What is 'multiple'? Where is it sticking? In the blood, puffed out over the street, stuck in gaps in the car's frame?

So just picture yourself at the scene, and then employ your imagination. Anything goes as long as it makes sense.
Alright, I'll try to update my wording as time goes on. For now, I wrote a few notes on how I believed the characters to have died:

Beach was probably sitting in the front seat and got the direct impact along with Billy Bob, who was driving. When they turned the corner and rolled, his face was rammed into the dashboard as he was pushed forward by the weight of Fatz and Rolfe. The glass and metal practically scalped him, and ripped up what were once his ears into little stumps.

Mitzi, a beautiful, beautiful girl. Extremely talented for her young age, 17. Her life ripped away so soon. Usually so peppy and cheerful looking, the seconds before her end rendered her clammy, her makeup smeared, and the corners of her mouth slightly ripped, from what can be assumed was a terrified smile.

Fatz's jaw was unhinged, like he had been screaming in those last moments, not knowing what was to come next.

Rolfe was one of the luckier ones, if you can even call it luck. His body was cushioned by Beach and Fatz's, so the most damage he took aesthetically was his eyes nearly being ripped apart. They were forced closed when we found his body, as if he didn't want to suffer looking at the others die as he himself saw small, blurry patches of the scene before a large shard of chrome-plated plastic made a large gash in his neck. He was practically decapitated, albeit his head hadn't detatched from the spine.

GlaringFeline
09-05-2015, 08:22 PM
If you want your gore to be cringe-worthy(in a good way, not cringing as in bad writing), then detail is key. "The man's head was severed." doesn't disgust someone. If you want them to writhe in disgust and curl their toes, add details about how the head was decapitated. The blood flying everywhere and coating everything around it, the expression on his face after his head was severed, if the body just dropped like a sack of rocks.

You get my point. I agree with what Eduard said with the gore tying into the plot. The reason why the FNAF killings stand out so much is because of the plot attached to them, the story makes the bloody parts interesting and gives them meaning. Granted, FNAF's plot is fucking confusing and nobody really knows the specifics except for Scott Cawthon. The spirits of children possessing animatronics is interesting, but it's the detail that the kids were brutally murdered and stuffed in the suits that has people fascinated.

EDIT: Also, don't go overboard with it. Even if there's supposed to be a lot of gore, it can get to the point where it seems like you're trying too hard. ( Example: the Cupcakes MLP fanfiction, it was well-written but the writer seemed like they were trying too hard to make it scary)

maugryph
09-06-2015, 04:57 PM
You on the right track but you need be more descriptive your writing. Don't just say the obvious, describe the scene to the reader and let them come to that conclusion without blatantly telling them.
http://www.sfwriter.com/ow04.htm
http://thewritepractice.com/show-dont-tell/

SidewalkSurfboard
09-07-2015, 01:02 AM
Alright, I see. This is what I have now, which is the first chapter. I fixed it up a bit and removed some unnecessary details and cliches. Tell me your thoughts, please.

On March 4th, 1986 at 11:54 pm, it was reported that there was a fatal car crash located about 143 miles away from a nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The vehicle (a large, black van) had been speeding, and had rolled while trying to turn a corner, resulting in the vehicle crashing. There were 7 people in the van at the time, and there were no survivors.

The scene was not a pretty one, not in the least. When we arrived, there was the very strong stench of fresh blood. I swallowed the lump in my throat as we got closer to the van. We switched on our flashlights, then being greeted by bits of skin, multiple patches of fur, and, as the smell had made clear, lots of blood, trickling from the inside of the mangled vehicle. I followed Rob, unsure whether or not this was a good idea. More and more I felt like backing out, but it was too late. We were already trying to pull out a mangled body through the shattered windshield of the van. We had grabbed a familiar white paw, and it made my heart sink as I realized this body was of Beach Bear. I wanted to cry, I wanted to wail and scream, but I knew I couldn't, because I knew we couldn't make too much noise. We were driving down the road after the show, when we saw them crash. Prior to it, we had made a bet before we all left, a bet that the first car that arrived to the hotel would get free dinner, courtesy of the loser. Seeing as this was a stressful night, a group of tired, stressed out band members definitely wanted to relax with a free of charge hot dinner. The minute we saw them crash, Rob grabbed me by the collar and told me, “Don't say anything to anybody. Not a word. This is our problem, Richard. Come with me.”

It took at least 20 minutes to pull Beach's heavy body out and put him in the back of our van. Making sure nobody was watching us or passing by in their cars, I turned on my flashlight and shone it on the corpse. I winced looking at it, and even Rob couldn't look for too long. Beach's face looked like it was rammed into the dashboard, as his muzzle was crushed and pushed to the side of his face, and the glass and metal practically scalped him, ripping up what were once his ears into little stumps. It was gruesome, and all it did was give us an idea of what else we were going to see that night. Every body we pulled out was in a horrible state, but by far the most disturbing find was that of Mitzi, the last member left in the vehicle. As we tugged her carcass out, I took a good, long look at her face. Mitzi Mozzarella, a beautiful, beautiful girl. Extremely talented for her young age, 15. Her life ripped away so soon. Usually so peppy and cheerful looking, the seconds before her end rendered her clammy, her makeup smeared, and the corners of her mouth slightly ripped from what can be assumed was an injury caused by broken glass. Something inside me snapped after looking at her for so long. My eyes became watery and blurry, and my nose started to drip. Robert saw me sobbing, but said nothing, he knowing that a sight like that would render even the toughest man to tears.
“Rich, there isn't much room left in the back. Do you want to...”
“I'll hold her. I'll sit in the back and sit with her. I'll do it, god dammit,” I said, trying to pull myself together. We then headed up to our van for the last time, I carrying Mitzi's body, trying not to look at her face. He climbed into the driver's seat, while I climbed into the back seat, pulling the young girl in with me. I sat sideways, pulling my knees to my chest as I examined Mitzi some more. After a moment, I decided to hold her body close to mine, reluctantly pulling her closer, putting her limp head on my shoulder. He then started the van, turning on the radio before driving away. The song that came on as we drove was “Tarzan Boy”, a Billboard top 100 song at the time. Before this night, I had never really payed attention to the song playing. But now, I listened closely as I stared at Mitzi. I felt my chest tighten as I began to cry again. He said nothing and let me mourn. After this night, I couldn't hear “Tarzan Boy” in the way I used to.

SaulGoodman91
05-30-2017, 04:22 AM
I find it hard to read any horror, let alone see it in a movie.