1st —The Autopsy of Jane Doe, by Terry White
2nd —Practise Makes Perfect, by Julia McInnes
3rd —The Autopsy of Jane Doe, by Gary Kuyper
Highly Commended—Stanley, by Nikky Olivier
“The three types of terror:
The Gross-out: the sight of a severed head tumbling down a flight of stairs, it’s when the lights go out and something green and slimy splatters against your arm.
The Horror: the unnatural, spiders the size of bears, the dead waking up and walking around, it’s when the lights go out and something with claws grabs you by the arm. And the last and worse one:
Terror, when you come home and notice everything you own had been taken away and replaced by an exact substitute. It’s when the lights go out and you feel something behind you, you hear it, you feel its breath against your ear, but when you turn around, there’s nothing there …” — Stephen King
Horror stories are not only fun to read they can also be fun to write. The elements which make up a good horror story can be gross, terrifying or haunting. For a horror story to be successful, you need to be able to convince your reader. You need to be able to make them believe the story enough to be scared, disgusted or disturbed.
However, horror stories can be tricky to write, and they take a significant amount of patience, planning, and practice. The horror genre is indeed a fascinating one and while some of the writers in the August competition hit the nail on the head, setting the scene for something truly frightening, I felt that some may have missed the mark.
Overall the entries were quite exceptional. I could see that the writers put a lot of thought into their pieces. However, I also felt that a few of the entries lacked the follow through needed for a punchy ending. While the stories themselves were wonderful, a little more thought could have been placed on creating an ending suitable to the effort which was made in creating the actual story.
Fans of horror, thriller and terror novels like to be frightened. Having said this, writing a horror piece is not easy, and many of the scenes which we have come to know as horror have already been done. Some people believe that there is nothing new in horror. This is where I felt that entrants took their stories to a whole new level. By incorporating local and other-worldly scenarios, they were able to produce excellent horror pieces. Well done to all the entrants! Thank you for taking the time to think out-of-the-box and create truly fascinating written pieces. Congratulations to this month’s well-deserved placed and highly commended winners.
Bedfordview and Edenvale News
Joburg East Express