Tips for writing a creepypasta
Posted and written by Zukdeen.

Hello! In this page I'll list and name some tips for writing and posting creepypastas, both Pokémon and non-Pokémon ones. They are based on an image I found online, and I'm transcribing the tips and elaborating on them. This is by no means the "Ultimate guide to write creepypastas", and it is not a 100% effective formula: it's just some tips that you might consider while writing a story.

How to start

Before starting...

This is the hardest thing to do. Before you actually start writing your story, you need to plan everything you're going to write about. The characters, the problems, the settings, all that stuff. You should start thinking and developing the end and the "scary" part of the story (is it going to be a monster? a disease? or something else altogether?), and when you have that "base", develop the rest. Make sure everything you plan relates to the base idea.

Starting up the story

Something that a lot of people do is throwing the reader directly into the "thing". A lot of stories start up with "I'm in an imminent danger, and I'm writing this to let you know about what happened to me", or more directly, "Someone's knocking on my door, I know they're coming after me... This is what happened.". If you do this, you make the reader know there is something from the beginning. They know something bad is going on, and the "surprise" element is lost. Instead, you should try starting up the story as a normal day in the life of the protagonist, as if nothing out of the ordinary was going on, and slowly, start showing hints of "something's not right here....", slowly introduce the thing, or the bad stuff. Doing this, you start to build up the suspense in your story, creating a paranoid feeling. For short: start from the end, put the scary thing into a non-scary setting, develop the story, develop the characters, write a draft, and rewrite the final story.

Word choice and length of the story

There's always a perfect way to write anything you want, you just have to find the words that describe more with less. You have to find the correct words to expand your sentence's meaning, without overusing words. For example (this example is taken from the internet), consider the difference between "It started to twist its body into weird shapes" vs. "It began contorting its figure into strange positions". The second one is more describing, and it's more useful in this situation.

Regarding the length of a story, it should be just as long as you need for describing the basic. Try to use less words. You don't have to describe the smallest detail if it does not relate to the story. Long stories tend to be tedious, and if you're going for this, make the reader want to stay reading, or else they'll stop reading your story after some paragraphs.

Movement

If you have a mysterious being moving, you should consider how to make it move, and how to write it. Regular movement, like if it was a normal human, is not scary, because we're already used to that. Irregular movement, like when things move slowly, stop, move fast, and such, is more uncommon and, thus, scary. However, you can consider making your antagonist not move. Therefore, you'll always be expecting something. "Why doesn't it move? Is it planning what to do?"

Fighting the Thing

Okay, the protagonist has acknowledged that something bad is going on. Now, what should they do? Should they fight it or go against it? No. Let me explain this to you. It's a common thing in Pokémon creepypastas for the protagonist to find an used Pokémon cartridge, play it, and suddenly things are going on. And somehow, the game manages to know his real name. What does the protagonist do? In the creepypastas, he usually keeps playing no matter what, no matter that common sense tells him to stop playing. That is not realistic. In real life, I'm sure that anyone would stop playing and leave the cartridge aside if they found themselves in the same situation. Ask yourself: "What would I really do if this happened to me?" before writing the protagonist actions towards the "thing".

There are three possible ways to take here. The first one, is making the protagonist fight the thing. Unless you have a surprise ready, I don't recommend doing this because, as I explained earlier, this is unrealistic, and it's overused everywhere. The second way, is having the protagonist not fight the thing. They acknowledge that something is going on, but ignore or avoid it to make it stop. This has potential, as you can choose whether they succeed and the thing leaves them alone, or the thing starts "growing", and makes it harder to ignore or avoid. Now, the third path you can take is not having them acknowledge the thing. Maybe the protagonist suspects something is going on, but they choose not to think about it because they're not superstitious, or maybe they just can't connect the dots. This way, the thing advances towards the protagonists without them knowing it exists. This can lead to many twists in the end.

About death

Sometimes, death is not the right ending, or the right thing to include in your story. For example, if you make your protagonist die, the story is going to end, "it" is going to be over. This also includes the massive deaths of people, it's something overrated. There's nothing scaring in making a whole town die of something. If you include death, make it a serial killer, or make it target something that is not usually related to death (like kids, but it's something pretty common). If you're going to end your story with the protagonist dying, or disappearing and having the police find its corpse later, you should consider making it disappear and never be found. It means the "thing" is still alive, it can still be happening.

Clichés

Be careful when working with clichés. A lot of the stories I've read recently follow the same storyline: for example, the protagonist gets a Pokémon cartridge, plays an already saved file, it's weird, he chooses to keep playing, in the end the game knew his real name. And it's being repeated over and over again. As I said before, writing a creepypasta is not an should not be a formula. You have to break the boundaries. Do not follow what other people do, instead, think of ways you can surprise the reader, who is already expecting these clichés. They might have been cool when they were introduced, but now they're overused and can ruin even the best written story. If you read a lot of creepypastas (which you should, before you try to write your own), you'll know what I'm talking about. Try to avoid these clichés.

Plot twists

This is useful when working with the above paragraph. Whenever you're reading a Pokémon creepypasta, you might start guessing what the protagonist is going to do, before he actually does it. This is what you need to avoid. With plot twists, the reader might be expecting something, but you make the protagonist do something else altogether. Let's reuse the above example. The guy finds an abandoned Pokémon cartridge, plays it and... makes a new file, completely ignoring the one that was already there! Or maybe, he plays it... but it's completely normal. The "thing", then, is not the cartridge, but something out of it. The cartridge is something the reader will focus on, and then you can introduce something else to surprise the reader. That way, you can play with clichés and what the reader is expecting, and deliver a completely different creepypasta experience.

Fear

There are three types of fear. The first one is shock, like the one you get when you hear a sudden scream. This one is of a high intensity, but low duration. The second one is paranoia. Paranoia makes the observer nervous and unsure about what is going on, and their surroundings. For example, usually reading about ghosts, UFOs, or conspiracy theories at night will make you paranoid. Finally, there's also dread, which is the feeling that something bad will happen, like when you see a ghost or weird creature and you get scared because you think it will attack you. Something like that.

What is scary?

There are some things that are always scary, and they can help you with your story's depiction. For examples, anything "unknown", or to which you have no control, is scary. Science and technology are scary, because most of the time you can't understand what's going on. Children are scary because, most of the time, they're innocent and tender beings. Mirrors, and faces, are scary. Abandoned places too, and also unclear stuff, like blurry pictures or videos, or static. Take this in mind while including scary stuff in your stories, but make sure you introduce some changes to this.

The Known vs. The Unknown

When writing your story, consider what you're going to make unknown, and what known. I've stated that the unknown is scary before, however, you should not make your story all "unknown stuff", because it stops being scary and starts being laughable. For example, if I'm going to specify where is this happening, and to whom, you've got to be specific. Being vague, like "Once, a long time ago, in a certain town, a kid went to an abandoned place..." is not as powerful as using specifics, like if I said "They say that 47 years ago, in the small and rural town of Borussia, Germany, a young man went...". Even if what you're going to include does not exist (like my previous example), use specifics. It's going to make the story more scary. So, when setting your story, use specifics, and when referring to "it", use vague stuff.

How to build the story

You can't start and jump into the thing right away. You have to build the story and set the mood. As I said before, start in a normal setting, and then go introducing the mysterious or creepy elements slowly. Reading how a mirror got a mysterious small scratch is more scary than reading how it just suddenly broke. Seeing things in the corner of your eye is scarier than opening a closet and, derp, there is a corpse. Things like that, you have to start from the normal stuff, and then slowly develop until you get to the creepy thing. However, don't make it a long wait for the reader until he gets to the creepy part. Don't use a lot of paragraphs on something you can write in a few lines. Keep in mind that, when writing stories, usually less is more, and is preferable.

Language and Grammar

Please, always try to use correct punctuation and grammar. It's not possible for me to count how many times an otherwise good story is ruined because of all the bad grammar, or missing punctuation. You may have thought of the best idea, the best storyline, the most scary characters, but if you "wriet lik this i thnk ur not" going to get a lot of favorable reviews. And believe me, I've seen a lot of Pokémon creepypastas written like that, and worse. So please, make sure you proofread your own stories to avoid any mistakes.

The Narrator

Choosing how to write your story is an important step of writing the creepypasta. There are mainly two ways of writing a story: first person and third person. In first person, you are the victim/protagonist of the story. That means that all the bad things are going to happen to you. If you're going this way, remember to ONLY tell what the protagonist is/has experienced. Never tell us anything he would not know. Also, take into consideration that when people are scared, they start hearing the quietest sounds, and seeing things out of the random. You can play with this while setting the mood of the story. If you choose to write in third person, it is going to be easier. As the narrator knows everything that happen, he should describe the actions, rather than just saying them. For example, in third person you should not say "Kevin started to get scared by the noises", but "As Kevin listened to the scary noises that came from the room next to his, his heart started beating faster, and while he tried to calm down, he could not." You don't tell us what is going on, you show us the actions so we can see for ourselves.

How to end

So you've finally written almost all of your story, and now you have to give it an end! Remember than the ending of a story is one of the most important parts of it, because an ending can be the difference between a regular story and an excellent story. Endings should not be predictable, and should always introduce something not expected. You can, for example, leave the story "open", leaving it up to the reader's imagination to make his own ending. You can finish it, ending the "thing", but this might not make the reader scary, because well, the "thing" is over and everything is back to normal now. You can also end in a mysterious way, that is confusing, but slightly "leading", to explain what happened but leaving it up to interpretation, or leaving some things unexplained. However, not matter what you choose, always make the ending unpredictable.


That's it, for now. I'll try to update this whenever I get more tips. If you have anything you'd like to add, contact us and let us know. We'll credit you! Thanks for reading.