I never set out to share my writing with the world–I was extremely shy and reclusive when it came to sharing the stories I wrote, because they were all horror. I was embarrassed to share the ideas that I came up with in fear that people would find me odd and strange. However over time I began to warm up to the idea that this was what I was meant to do.
Setting the monsters free
My biggest inspiration was Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. I was fascinated by the amount of fear and suspense that such a short amount of text could provide. I had very little interest in writing novels when I first started; I wanted the suspense that came from reading a short scary story. Short scary stories and creepy flash fiction have to immerse the reader within the first couple paragraphs. In short scary stories, every word counts, and because of its length, every sentence has to be written in a way that will help the story progress significantly or provide important detail. Although I still have trouble making every word count, I have learned through trial and error that less is more. I dedicated myself to writing short stories and flash fiction tales in my spare time. At first, I only wrote in private journals and loose-leaf paper, which I’d tuck away on old shelves along with other notebooks. However, years later, I began writing online anonymously through a few online forums and websites. I created my horror story blog Eerie Dolls last fall as a way to share all my stories in one place for free. Writing short stories and flash fiction has worked well with my writing style. I have many ideas floating around in my head and writing short text allows me to express what I want to without going into other details that do not help the main plot progress.
Learning a new way
Sharing your writing online for free or with a subscription not only opens you up to immediate positive feedback in the shape of comments, shares, and likes, it can also lead to more direct criticism. I’ve learned through my own experiences that readers can easily leave a disapproving comment. Short scary stories have made their way through the web and have become an easy product to read on the go through sites like Reddit, CreepyPasta, Wattpad, etc. We live in an era where people are constantly in movement, both in the physical world and online. People want to get ahold of what they want fast. In my case, readers of short scary stories and flash fiction choose these stories in hopes that they’ll get a good scare fast without investing too much reading time.
Webbing the web
The internet has allowed many readers to explore the beauty of short stories even more than before. Through the internet, I have discovered and read many indie short story collections and found many wonderful authors. I hope in time to continue my work and to someday publish a short story anthology collection. Until then, I will continue to skim the web and look for short scary stories/creepy flash fiction that give me the same sense of fear, dread, and suspense that Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark at one point gave me.
Brianna Abello is a writer and horror enthusiast whose passion for writing scary stories led to the creation of Eerie Dolls (www.eeriedolls.com), a horror story blog. A collection of original short stories and mini-series, Eerie Dolls is a site filled with eerie tales. On days when she isn’t skimming the web looking for creepy content or writing, she is out discovering new coffee shops where she can sit and read for hours undisturbed. You can follow her on Twitter at @Briaabello, @EerieDolls or connect with her on Facebook.