In today’s world of writing, it is hard to find the untold story. In fact most stories have been told and told again and retold to the hundredth power.
There are many who claim that there are no more original stories in horror; that horror writers are just copying existing stories and putting a new twist on the original tale. This is not something that I wholly agree with. In today’s realm of horror, we just barely scratched the surface of the macabre. The imagination of human cognition is limitless and all it takes is some pure (or dark) thought to breathe life into a new unwritten story. While I believe coming up with an untold theme in the realm of horror and dark fiction is becoming difficult as we fall into the trap of being brainwashed by the same story being told over and over again, it is not completely impossible to forge upon new ground.
One of the best guides that I can possibly give to avoid falling into the already-used-theme trap is to avoid clichés. Stop selling that haunted house for so cheap. Don’t allow your “heroine” be a complete damsel-in-distress where she unceremoniously always stumbles across the murderer. Quit making your undead have the same old unrelenting cravings for human flesh or blood.
Shake the horror genre up a bit and break out of the mold. Don’t recycle those canned clichés.
Be yourself. That is the only true and honest answer that I have uncovered in trying to write that unique tale of terror. With my writing, I escape into myself, teasing the strings of my imagination until something so horrific conjures up that I cannot sleep at night. The terror is all I can think about and all I can write about. It is unique in its own way because it was birthed from my mind without the influence of other stories or authors. I tune out every piece of literature or film that I have interacted within my past, push clichés to the side, and focus on MY monster that has been born.
The unique story lies within your mind.
There is only one Stephen King, one Joyce Carol Oates, one H.P. Lovecraft. They have their voice; you must have your voice and not be like them. Make your story yours, and from there it will be unique because it will be in YOUR voice with your imaginative touch. Write what scares the hell out of you and make it your own personal story.
As a writing exercise, come up with three story themes that have never been written before (make sure to do a little research on this as well).
If you would like to share your unique themes of terror, write them in the Comments section for this post.
And remember, BE YOURSELF!