Did I succeed at making this story at least somewhat scary?

I just finished a story yesterday, 25 hours shy of the deadline for submitting it for consideration for the 2003 X-files fanfic awards. I think it has a decent shot for the humor award (if only because I haven’t noticed too many entries that would be competition for that category, lol) but it took me so long to complete it because I wanted to make the last third of the story scary as well.

However, since as I’ve moaned about before, I don’t actually find horror novels (or many horror movies) to be scary, so having so little to draw upon as to what “works” I found it a bit hard to deliberately write something meant to scare. Accidentally is easier, since one of my other entries has parts I was told by readers were really frightening- and I didn’t even expect them to be :stuck_out_tongue:

I love my regular readers dearly, but I don’t think they’ll be honest. Could you give me an honest assessment of whether or not you think I hit the mark at all?

Let’s say you rank it on a scale of one to ten. One being as scary as kittens to a non-cat phobic person and ten being sitting on the edge of your seat/jumping at strange noises as you read scary.

The link to the story is here http://www.spookys2003.ditb.org/archive/4/godstop.shtml

Things you might want to know about said story:

  1. It’s an X-files fan fic
  2. It’s a MarySue (as part of a challenge to see if deliberately writing them could yield better results than typical of the “genre”. It seemed to be the case)
  3. It’s approximately 20,000 words
  4. No imaginary spouses, children or pets were harmed in the making of the fic.
  5. Where it says “swatch” it should say “speak” (don’t ask)

If you aren’t familar with #1 and/or #2, just think of it as a short story in first person POV about a narrator being pestered by a pair of FBI agents. Knowing much about fics, The X-files or MarySues is completely unnecessary to understand the story, because as you’ll see, the narrator has no clue what the X-Files are either :dubious:

Anyway, I’d love to get outsiders’ views of how scary/spooky/creepy the end is to you as a reader. If I were personally rating it from one to ten, I’d probably give it a 3 or 4 but I’m biased and clueless, so…

Really, I personally consider ** The Ring** and Jumanji to be equally scary (which is to say not terribly) so my ablity to judge how others would rate something’s scariness is probably not great!

I enjoyed it, which is good. I’m afraid I didn’t really find it scary though - I think it’s because you don’t really feel it’s likely that the pirates will slaughter everyone, because M & S have to survive, and the narrator must do. What you did do, I thought you did well though. Sorry I can’t be more helpful. The ending was slightly creepy - imagining a ghost family stuck in the lighthouse or something.

I’m sorry, I have to know: why “swatch”?

Oh, and I don’t know if you want me to tell you, but I noticed two spelling errors as I was reading through, and thought I might as well mention them:

for got

Yes, and there are three or four substitution errors too, I noticed…however, they’re going to have to stay because they’re too minor to go through the trouble of getting the person organizing things to let me resubmit them. I can live with them and save her the hastle.

Ok, but it’s a long boring story. I thought that if you highlighted a document, then replaced words with ctrl-h, it’d only check the highlighted part of the document for the word. Apparently I was wrong. So when I changed “peak” for “watch” it went and changed all the speaks to swatch. And since I didn’t realized this would be the case, I never reread the beginning of the story before submitting it since they didn’t stick out as underlined spelling errors- who knew a watch brand would be in MS Word’s dictionary? I suspect either people won’t notice or they’ll think it’s hip new slang:D

I see. I didn’t know if you can easily edit it or not, so I thought I’d mention them.

In my version of word whenyou do a replace all it first changes the selected portion, and then says ‘Done that. Do you want to check the whole doc? yes/no’ which is reasonable except that if you twitch at the wrong time you click yes by accident.

You should have just said ‘swatch to’ was slang at the start :smiley:

Oh, I forgot to mention this earlier… but the people who are reading the fic as I post it won’t share your assumption that Mulder and Scully lived. Most of them have read another of my fics in which the entire cast of the X-files (except the lone gunmen), including Mulder, Scully and their son, are killed by a giant purple people eater - so they know I’m not above murdering cannon characters :smiley: Some of them have also read the short story I wrote in which I killed off the narrator too (titled Posthumous, naturally) so while your assumptions are not wrong, they’ll be more likely to think no one is safe for sure, lol. Just another reason to see how people who are unfamiliar with my fics and stories react differently.

Good point - I think if I had have read one of these it would have been quite scary, but it’s hard to say, obviously.

I’m somewhat depressed by the response :slight_smile: I’m trying to start writing and I thought SDMB might provide some feedback, but no-one seems very keen.

Yeah… there are more writers than readers here, but I knew that starting this thread.

Shade, if you liked that story, the voting is now going on (for the next four days). It’s the fourth story in the list here http://spookys2003.ditb.org/cgi-bin/search.cgi?Title=&Title_Range=0&Author=Neoxphile&Author_Range=0&SortBy=0&NumToList=0&SortOrder=0&ShortResults=1 which tells you which of the catogories on the left it’s up for :smiley: