How To Write HORROR
That Guarantees Sleepless Nights

Now, if you’re a horror writer, you might find yourself signing up for a writing course with that tagline on principle. But it’s not just useful for horror writers. Any fiction writer who wants elements of terror, fear, or dread in any genre has a lot to gain from this course.

What is Nightmare Fuel?

Nightmare Fuel is a popular month-long course designed for horror writers on taking the fear factor in your writing to the next level. Using Autocrit’s online platform, the writer is taken through six units of study.

  • Fear Warmed Up
  • Planning
  • Humans and Monsters
  • Horror with Style
  • Writing Nerve-Shredding Scenes
  • Killer Tips and Tricks

When they advertise it as a comprehensive horror writing experience, they mean it. The curriculum is provided in a combination of online text lessons, short (under 5 minutes) video lessons, worksheets, and exercises, and live zoom events, lessons and Q&As, up to twice a week.

There are also one or two guest zooms during these sessions with guest authors like Paul Tremblay. (Which was excellent by the way). Plus, you leave the course with a number of valuable resources to improve your writing and continual access to the course so you can revisit it later.

The Bare Bones

The content in Nightmare Fuel is easy to manage. Each of the six units is broken down into 20 or so small bites, somewhere like the courses at Linked In (formerly Lynda). They are easy to understand and include story samples to illustrate what they are getting at.

There’s also a chat feature so you can post examples of your own work for peer review or trade ideas with other students. When you get to the live Zoom classes, you’ll see there are a good many other writers there. (There were around 70 for the session we took).

The course covers the basics of crafting scary scenes, explains finding inspiration for such, and builds the content in a way that takes you through the process of writing horror that really will cause nightmares.

The course was designed by Rayne Hall (creator of Writer’s Craft) and Gareth who is the AutoCrit resident horror expert and they do a very good job. There’s so much good content here, in fact, we were grateful that you get access to the course after the fact.

If you can’t make the Zoom classes, no worries. You can catch up with them later. You don’t have to be an AutoCrit member to take the course either.

A Word of Warning

Some of the content and exercises in the course could be triggering for some. There are exercises on exploring your own past moments of fear and that might be upsetting for some. As AutoCrit explains in its disclaimer, it’s not intended to be therapeutic.

Next Step?

Sessions are offered most months. Find out more and sign up. The course is $149.

The virtual writing class does what it promises and then some. If you’re looking for a way to elevate the creep factor in your writing, even if you’re not in the horror genre, it’s very worthwhile. As a group, you’ll work together on themes, ideas, and the craft of writing.