Coffee break exercise: Spooky story

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With Halloween looming, this week's creative writing exercise is all about creating a sense of the uncanny

This is the perfect time of the year to read, and write, supernatural tales. To get started, think for a few moments about what a ghost or scare story might need. Jot down words in pen on a piece of paper - perhaps 'arrival', 'unexpected', 'dark' might be among them, but write down whatever come to mind. Do this for five minutes.

Now circle no more than five of the words, and use them as prompts to start writing the opening to a story where your central character arrives at a place they haven't seen since their childhood.

 

Do you love ghost stories? You're not alone. Amanda Mason, author of The Wayward Girls, explains the appeal of ghost stories for writers.