Writing Supernatural Fiction

Spooky treesI had always wanted to write a novel with a ghost story at its heart. So I started with a  question -
what is the most terrifying thing I could think of? The answer came immediately - the thought of my child going missing was the stuff of both my sleeping and waking nightmares. So what better way to channel my paranoia with interest in the supernatural?

For anyone who has attempted to write a novel, you'll know what a long and arduous journey it can be. You can spend a day thinking your prose is worthy of an agent; followed by a week believing you are but one step away from the shredder.

However, I persisted, and my ghost story grew from a vague outline to a novel with a full-blown plot and scenes and characters and hopefully a few scares along the way. 

I had read countless times that authors should write what they would actually want to read themselves. Hence the inclusion of Ouija Boards and Psychics, crisis apparitions and demonic animals. I've poured 20 years of ghost hunting experiences into my work to explain how Sarah MacDonald life was changed forever when her daughter went missing, and she heard a ghostly voice whispering Mummy. 

Now my novel is complete. A query letter, synopsis and first 30,000 words have been sent off to an agent - and I've identified some further agents to query too. Entering the world of novel writing is overwhelming. There is so much to learn, so many books to read and so many excellent writers. I imagine its very similar to acting - millions of people out there, but only a few making a living out of it. I've learnt about Scrivener, Grammarly, Goodreads, Pitch parties and how not to write to an agent. I've entered a competition and taken an online course. I've read books and blogs, but the most laborious task of all is to put pen to paper and keep writing diligently every day.

My dream is to be a published author, but I am realistic that take years or never happen. So I am concentrating on practising. My goal is to write 500 words a day, read as much as I can and learn my craft ('writing' rather than 'witch'). My ambition is to write stories that will make the reader keep the lights on just that little bit longer before they go to sleep. Or indeed to walk a little bit faster when they pass a building that is reputed to be haunted. 

I will share my writing journey in the hope it might be of use to others embarking on similar quests into the unknown. I'd love to hear from anyone else working on projects inspired by the unquiet dead.


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