If you want to write like H.P. Lovecraft, you first need to understand what made him one of the most influential horror authors of all time. To put it simply, Lovecraft was a master of suspense and terror. He knew how to slowly build up the fear in his readers until they were practically quivering with suspense. In this article, we’ll show you how to apply these same techniques in your own writing, so that you can create truly chilling scenes that will send shivers down your readers’ spines!
Create a Sense of Unease
The first step to writing like Lovecraft is to create a sense of unease in your reader. This can be done by gradually introducing them to the horrifying elements of your story. For example, you might start with a few brief mentions of a strange creature that is stalking the protagonist. These mentions should be enough to pique your reader’s curiosity, but not so much that they feel overwhelmed. Then, as the story progresses, you can begin to reveal more and more about the creature, until its full horror is revealed.
Another way to create a sense of unease is to use foreshadowing. This is when you hint at future events that will be truly terrifying. For example, you might mention a character’s fear of the dark, or their dread of going into the basement. These hints will make your reader start to feel uneasy, and they will be on the edge of their seat waiting for the horrifying event to occur.
Use Descriptive Language
Lovecraft was a master of using descriptive language to create a sense of horror. He would carefully choose his words to paint a picture of sheer terror in his readers’ minds. When you are writing like Lovecraft, it is important to focus on creating vivid images that will stay with your reader long after they have finished reading.
To do this, you should use all of your senses when describing a scene. What does it look like? What does it smell like? What does it sound like? The more sensory details you can include, the more your reader will be able to imagine themselves in the story, and the more horror they will feel.
It is also important to use strong verbs when writing like Lovecraft. Verbs are the words that describe actions, and by using strong verbs you can make your descriptions even more powerful. For example, instead of saying “the creature was crawling towards me,” you could say “the creature slithered towards me.” This small change makes a big difference in how scary the scene appears.
Suspense is one of the most important elements of writing like Lovecraft. He was a master at slowly building up the fear in his readers, until they were practically begging for the release of terror. If you want to write like Lovecraft, you need to learn how to create suspense in your own writing.
One way to do this is to start with a calm scene, and then gradually introduce more and more horrifying elements. For example, you might start with a character waking up in their bedroom, before revealing that there is a creature lurking in the shadows. As the story progresses, the creature should become more active, until it is finally revealed in all its horror. By gradually increasing the level of suspense, you will keep your readers hooked on your story right until the very end.
Another way to build suspense is to use cliffhangers. This is when you end a scene with a shocking or horrifying event, which leaves your reader wondering what will happen next. Cliffhangers are an excellent way to keep your readers engaged, and they will be eager to find out what happens in the next scene.
Write About Things That Are Truly Horrifying
If you want to write like Lovecraft, then you need to focus on writing about things that are truly horrifying. This means thinking outside the traditional concepts of horror, and coming up with new and creative ideas that will make your readers’ skin crawl.
One way to do this is to write about ancient evils that have been forgotten by time. These evil beings can be incredibly powerful and terrifying, and just thinking about them can send shivers down your readers’ spines.
Another way to come up with truly horrifying ideas is to look at the world around you and find things that are normally considered benign or even positive, and then twist them into something dark and sinister. For example, you could write about a character who seems like a perfectly normal person, but who is secretly a serial killer. This juxtaposition of the mundane with the horrific is one of the things that makes Lovecraft’s writing so effective.
Lovecraft was known for his love of the weird and wonderful, and this is reflected in his writing. If you want to write like Lovecraft, then you need to embrace weirdness in your own work. This means thinking outside the box, and coming up with ideas that are truly unique.
One way to do this is to take inspiration from real life. There are plenty of weird and wonderful things in the world, if you just know where to look for them. You could write about a character who is haunted by a ghost, or about a city that is overrun by mutated creatures. The possibilities are endless.
Another way to add weirdness to your writing is to make use of surrealism. This involves deliberately creating scenes that are strange and confusing, in order to disorient your readers. For example, you could have a character walking through a door only to find themselves in an alternate universe. Surrealism can be used to create some truly nightmarish scenes, which is exactly what you want if you’re trying to write like Lovecraft.
Use Strong Verbs
In addition to using descriptive language, you should also focus on using strong verbs. These are words that convey action and movement, and they will help to bring your scenes to life.
One way to choose strong verbs is to avoid using the verb “to be.” This is because it is often used as a weak verb, and it doesn’t really add anything to the sentence. For example, instead of saying “the room was dark,” you could say “the room darkened.” This change might seem small, but it makes a big difference to the way the sentence reads.
Another way to choose strong verbs is to focus on words that are associated with movement. These include words like “run,” “jump,” and “fight.” By using these types of verbs, you will make your scenes more dynamic and exciting.
Write in The First Person
Lovecraft often wrote in the first person, and this is something that you should consider doing as well. This point of view can be very effective for horror stories, as it allows the reader to experience the events of the story through the eyes of the protagonist. This helps to create a sense of closeness and intimacy, making the story more personal and emotive.
Of course, writing in the first person isn’t compulsory. You could also choose to write in the third person, or even in the second person if you wanted to. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which point of view will work best for your story.
Embrace the Unknown
One of the things that makes Lovecraft’s work so effective is the way that he embraces the unknown. He often left things unexplained, and this helped to create a sense of unease in his readers. If you want to write like him, then you should consider doing the same.
Don’t be afraid to leave some things up to the reader’s imagination. This can be a great way to build suspense, and it will also help your readers to connect with the story on a deeper level. Sometimes, it is better to hint at what is going on, rather than explaining everything in detail.
Of course, you should still try to make your story as clear as possible. But don’t be afraid to leave some things open to interpretation, as this can be a very effective way of writing horror.
Write About What Scares You
One of the best pieces of advice for writers is to “write about what you know.” This is good advice in general, but it is particularly relevant when it comes to writing horror. If you want to write like Lovecraft, then you need to write about the things that scare you.
Think about the things that give you nightmares, and try to incorporate them into your stories. The more personal and emotive your work is, the more effective it will be. So don’t be afraid to dig deep and write about the things that really scare you.