Using Fear to Write

I’m working on a short story called Scared to Death. It’s one of the stories from Body Bags, but I’ve pulled it hoping to, maybe, possibly, enter it in a contest.

What I’m learning from writing this story is that when you write about your own fears, you may sweat, have nightmares and hear things. As a writer, this could work for you.
To use your own fears in stories you must:
  • Revisit your fears if you want to make it real for your reader.
  • Use fear concepts/words as in eyes staring back at you or  breath on my neck but--I'm alone.
  • Write late at night (no really), but be sure you can sleep the next day because you'll be tired.
Speaking of fear
Monday night, after the Sunday night (yes it always ends up that way) where Millie stared out at my pet cemetery in the dark, she acted strange again. This time in the yard, she  was glued to my ankle. Wouldn’t. Didn’t. Leave my ankle. So we went back inside.  

The next night, Millie (thank you, God) went potty first before she and I heard something scream in the field past my pet cemetery. I don't know what it was, but I nearly tore the storm door off getting back inside. Once inside, I remembered Millie. I’d left her outside. So I look out the window, in the door, but she was nowhere in my sight. I knew had no other choice; I had to go back outside to find her. As I tugged at the door to open it  again something brush at my bare ankle. Millie! She had hurried inside, too.

That's my girl.

I am afraid of the dark. Millie is afraid of change, so I bought her first doggy outfit. Millie doesn’t like her new threads at all. She thinks it is eating her alive. To finish off the look, I wanted to put one of her barrettes in her hair, but I then I saw her face.
What's YOUR biggest fear?


  1. Millie is SO cute!!!

    That's a scary story, Teresa! I don't blame you for running! Especially since Millie had already been acting spooked, and then you heard the scream. I think I'd let Millie potty on a long, long leash next time...

  2. Hi Teresa!! I love Millie's adorable face :-)

    Oh wow I wonder what in the world that scream was!?

  3. I think I would have beat you inside if I'd been there. Hope you find out (safely) what the scream was. Cute outfit on Millie and love the look on her face. My mom had a Chihuahua who was always shaking. We got her a little sweater to wear. It would take 10 minutes to get it on her and 10 seconds for her to get it off.

  4. lmao she is not happy what so ever. Maybe the scream was the neighbors doing umm things? lol

  5. I'd hustled back inside in a hurry as well!
    Millie doesn't like her new outfit?

  6. OMG I would have beat it inside quickly too!!!!!!! My biggest fear? Not being able to pay our bills and financial destitution. And Russell leaving me.

  7. I also get scared easier in the dark. If the dog is jittery, too, well, look out! Cute outfit. I hope Millie accepts it soon!

  8. My biggest fear? Being buried alive! I'm very claustrophobic. I can't even get into a full car. I refuse to go to sporting events and full elevators. But, I agree with you about writing about things that scare you. I've written scary scenes in my books and they are not only fun to write, they scare the crap out of me.

  9. You were a wise woman not to go for the barrette! I don't like scary sounds in the dark either.

  10. I don't blame Millie--I'm afraid of clothes, too. But love your insight on writing scary stuff! I've written some scary SCENES, but full scary stories are another matter.

  11. Someone told me when you put clothing on an animal it goes back to something having to do with other dogs laying on top of them when they're young? Their instinct is to be as still as possible? My dog does that, for sure!

  12. Sounds like Millie's smart like you and doesn't wait around to see what's causing the noise in the dark. Now you have that experience to tap into for your story!. Love the new Millie duds.

  13. We just watched the most recent episode of Dr. Who, and that was pretty darn scary. I'm not so fond of the dark myself. I like this idea of using that fear though. Cool post :D

    Sarah Allen
    (Writing Blog)

  14. Wonderful Teresa, Wish I was more fearless!


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