1) Use descriptive words to set the scene. Dark, cold, shiver, goosebumps, foggy, creaky…..These kinds of words put the reader in the scene and help build a sense of suspense. Here is a fun example of setting the scene, in a book created by Abby on Scribble Press for iPad.
2) Roll out the story slowly. The reveal doesn’t have to be THAT scary – what makes a great spooky story is the anticipation, wondering what is right around the corner. Spooky stories are usually not about plot, they are about mood!
3) Create some stakes. Why do we care about the main character? Is there a reason why this situation is particularly scary for him or her?
4) Defuse the tension. Writing for little kids? Its okay to defuse the tension in the end by turning it into a joke! A good example of this is A Ghost Story, by Pat. Younger kids may enjoy the feeling of being a little scared and then the relief at the end when it’s not so scary after all.
For some other great ideas, see this list of Story Starters by Scholastic and this story creating engine from the UK. We look forward to seeing stories created with Scribble during the spooky season. Please share your stories with us to our twitter feed or Facebook page!