How do I make this more disturbing?

I’m writing a murder mystery (with a hint of horror mixed in), and I’m trying to make my gory scenes a little more… disturbing. :rofl:

How do you think I can improve on this scene?

Freyja and Caden slowed their pace, now standing behind me as I inched my way toward the other side of the metal, where a patch of fire burned. Tori lay on the floor, her skin torn up from the explosion, her body caught debris from the vehicle. Fire burned her body to a crisp, the stench of flesh rose into my nostrils.

^ By the way, to recap what’s happening: my MC (Asher) and some of his friends (Freyja and Caden) just arrived at his house because they saw an explosion. Tori was working on a car (trying to fix it) and the car had a bomb… AKA, the explosion.

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Maybe comparing the skin to something like

“Her skin looked like leather that had been left out for far too long”

Just a suggestion… :woman_shrugging:

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I would recommend adding in thoughts/reactions from your MC to add to the horror aspect, to show how they are both physically and mentally trying to process this.
You could also use a simile/metaphor in comparison to something gruesome or inhuman/something we consider typical or normal, to make it clear that she no longer resembles a human (burned crisp, to the point where if you had touched her, the flesh would have crumbled like dry, stale bread/skin torn up like it had been run through a paper shredder)
In addition, picking some nice adverbs always helps :)))))

good luck writing!
t

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That title of yours really caught my eye, you don’t see a thread like that often.

Whilst I am not a horror writer I can throw some ideas in.

Adding many spaces between sentences can help make the reader linger and read slower allowing for more suspense to build and make the payoff more powerful.

If you are okay with it you could describe the scene in more “gruesome” detail, such as describing seeing melted skin and other fun stuff like that. Maybe research what happens to the human body in a real explosion or look at some pictures if you can stomach it. If you aren’t planning on making it a “mature” rated book you could still get pretty close to a mature book but not actually cross the line. Pull the punches a bit you know?

Describing the reactions of characters to seeing this sight could also enhance the “disturbing” factor. Perhaps someone vomits from the sight or smell. One might have their eyes wide open in shock not moving at all. Another might collapse entirely.

Just some ideas.

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I feel that you write quite well!

However, the problem with your little passage is that it does not arouse any emotions in the reader (which doesn’t mean that it is bland - it is the style of writing that gives it that very characteristic).

I feel that to render something more graphic, one would have to use adjectives. Of course, the danger is slipping into purple prose. Let me see how I would do it.

Freyja and Caden slowed their pace, now standing behind me as I inched my way toward the other side of the metal, where a patch of fire burned. At my feet a lump of charred flesh, torn skin, members dislocated beyond recognition. Tori. Her limbs had gotten caught in the remnants of the vehicle, burning alongside them. The stench that emanated from what had once been a body, a living, breathing body, rose to my nostrils, punched me in the gut. Overwhelming nausea took hold of me.

This might not be style you are going for, of course. And in no way is it better than what you wrote yourself, however I am attempting to elicit some disgust, some mild horror in the minds of the potential reader. Hope it helps. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I would recommend doing something with blood, but what I think you could really do (if this character is badly torn up) is describe the organs laying about, pieces of them scattered as the decaying process starts from the inside out.

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Maybe elaborate on the stench and how it makes the MC uncomfortable. Also, describe in depth how the body is burnt. Maybe talk about the colors of the burnt flesh (it’s not completely black) and its texture (how some parts show bones and blood). I’m not an expert in this, but there are many horror movies with burnt bodies. Maybe you can be inspired by these parts. I find it helpful to have a ‘visual’ model when writing descriptions.

OK, just realized my ideas were already mentioned.

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Thank you all! c:

I love all of your suggestions! And with them, I conjured up this revision. What do you think?

Freyja and Caden slowed their pace, now standing behind me as I inched my way toward the other side of the metal, where a patch of fire burned. Charred flesh, shredded skin, and a pile of organs stood at my feet. The legs and arms were still intact, but the blackish, reddish flesh wrapped around the body like a latex glove. The body had a bald head, and the face was almost unrecognizable.

Tori.

There was some debris in her body, but I could’ve mistaken it from the bones puncturing her skin with sharpened edges.

My eyes widened at the sight of her, and when the rotting stench rose into my nostrils, bile made its way into my throat. I swallowed it back down, the appalling taste lingered on my tongue.

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I am new to the chat but much better then the first version of the story. Good use to detail but might I suggest a more emotional tone from the onlooker in wraps with it’s disgust.

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Hi there,
The first sentence is great by itself but for the sentences after it to make it more disturbing I’d say,

What’s left of Tori lays on the floor, the unexpected explosion caused the debris from the vehicle to violently violate her already tortured body, leaving it torn and twisted causing muscle and bone to be exposed. The fire that finished her hardened the edges of the gashes, turning them black, while turning her flesh into an ugly red brown leather. The smell of the burned flesh repulsed me almost as much as the sight of it did, it rose into my nostrils making my eyes water…

Hope this imagery is what you’re looking for :slight_smile:

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I like this very much! Great job! :heart:

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that is descriptive. It adds a sense of gore. I like it.

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Haha, thanks! :rofl: :blush:

There’s this next revision:

Freyja and Caden slowed their pace, now standing behind me as I inched my way toward the other side of the metal, where a patch of fire burned. Charred flesh, shredded skin, and a pile of organs stood at my feet. The legs and arms were still intact, but the blackish, reddish flesh wrapped around the body like a latex glove. The body had a bald head and the face wasn’t even there. A massive hole took place in the middle of the skull.

Tori.

My eyes widened and watered, and all I could think about was how beautiful she used to look. My throat tightened. I could barely breathe. How could this have happened? Another one of my friends, gone.

There was some debris in her body, but I could’ve mistaken it from the bones puncturing her skin with sharpened edges. When the rotting stench rose into my nostrils, bile made its way into my throat. I swallowed it back down, the appalling taste lingering on my tongue.

I also forgot to mention that I added a little more details a little later in the chapter (moments after he finds her body).

As I stared at her half-mummified body, there were more, smaller details that I noticed about her indistinguishable body.

Blood covered every inch of her. The optic nerves and eyes drooped onto the side of her face. Small pieces of her brain remained and looked like a bowl of noodle soup.

The cervical vertebrae punctured through her skin, and the tip of her chest cavity was ripped open, broken ribs poking out at odd angles. The muscles in her body shredded, veins dangled outside of her skin, flapping in the slight breeze.

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That is right on the nose and made me gag. I am a huge fan of horror and it is right on the nose.

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lmfao happy dance

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Dang, everything was resolved before I could comment. :joy:

If they see the explosion there wont be any time for decomp to start. You can still make the smell disgusting, because if her stomach or intestines are pierced… yeah. That smells too.

looking like a thanks giving turkey etc?

her skin pierced like a voodoo doll

To be honest I actually like how it already is above. Not much more is needed in my opinion. Even out of context it reads well.

That’s what we called end game…hahahahaaha :stuck_out_tongue:

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