Write On SC

White Knuckle Scenes

Episode Summary

In this episode from October 23, 2021, Kasie and Rex take on the scary scenes you love to read but wonder how to write.

Episode Notes

Full show notes out on the blog here.

Google does it again. I found this link to the 30 scariest scenes in Western literature which was a goldmine for what we want to do today which is really break it down. What’s happening in the scene? How is it constructed and how does it work?

The rage of Achilles — when he arrives on the battlefield, the Trojans quake with fear and when he unleashes his battle cry, some of them fall back and impale themselves on their own spears. Um. Wow.

Banquo returns to haunt his killer — in Macbeth we know they won’t get away with it, right? But Shakespeare lets the dead man’s ghost show up with all of his descendents and scare the shit out of Macbeth.

The creature and the uncanny valley — in Frankenstein, Mary Shelley writes the creator’s rebuke of his creation as a rage-filled verbal lashing, but the creature’s response is exponentially worse.