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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Horror Plot Cliches

In the wonderful world of horror, it's easy to creep in to many done-to-death plots. I'm sure this is a problem with any genre but especially horror. It's becoming increasingly harder to develop that original idea. One that no one has ever thought of. At this point, a lot of writers are trying to put a new spin to an old idea. Below are a few done-to-death plots:

1. Main character gets eaten/dies in the end - How many times have you gone on this scary roller coaster ride with a main character just to have him die in the end. It's frustrating and sometimes insulting to a reader. No body wants to see the hero die.

2. Experiments go terribly wrong - this one was highlighted in books such as Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. But why does the experiment have to go wrong. Can't it be a success for once? Playing God always comes with some kind of consequence. So, maybe the scientist should just drop the experiments.

3. Character ignores warnings - Most often it's the girl telling the guy not to do something and he does it anyways. On occasion, it's the other way around. Doing something you're not suppose to will lead to trouble. So why do it? The one second of adrenaline rush is not worth the chaos later.

4. Let's split up - This may sound like a good idea especially if there is only one killer on the rampage. Supposedly increases the odds of survival. The problem is the killer will probably know the surroundings better than the characters. It's their hunting grounds. Isolation is never good. Safe in numbers.

5. Vampires, werewolves, zombies, etc - When it comes to these creatures, some authors write as if the rules are set in stone. For example, vampires are often portrayed as handsome/beautiful, seductive, drinks blood, and can only be killed by stake in the heart or decapitation. Truth is there are a lot of folklore about vampires and most don't follow these rules. It's sometimes hard to change the mainstream perception of such popular mythical creatures, but writers don't stop trying.

This purpose of this article isn't to force you away from cliches. You have to recognize them in order to spin them in your favor. Which cliche are you guilty of writing about?

Courtesy of Write Anything

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