Monsters are on everyone’s mind this time of the year. Our children love the mystery and wonder of stories about monsters and are a best-loved theme of favorite tales that we read and share with our kids. Some of the greatest stories are created out of pure coincidence. Mary Shelley’s 18th Century novel, “Frankenstein”, was written while she and a group of famous writers were on vacation and they decided to have a contest of who could write the scariest story. Mary had a dream about a deranged scientist who created a human- like being in his lab. She crafted this idea into her novel where the creature turned out to be a hideous and deformed man. Not only did she win the contest, but she brought to life one of the greatest and most famous of monsters for all times. Mary Shelley is also credited with writing the first science fiction story as “Frankenstein”.
With the days getting colder and outdoor activities becoming limited, why not create your own writing contest. This is a great chance for the kids to work on creative writing and drawing and a perfect way to get into the Halloween Spirit.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Vote for Originality. Everyone has heard about Wolf Man; how about a story about Squid People.
2. Go for Psychological Fear. If there is one thing that Alfred Hitchcock taught us, it is that blood and gore do not equal scary. In fact, many of his scariest moments derive from psychological fear, not physical.
3. Think of Surprise. Fear and humor go together which make a great combination. When the ghost jumps out of a nook in a scary house, we scream and then we laugh.
4. Weave in the Truth. Of course, the “Creature from the Blue Lagoon” is frightening and you believe it to be real. On the other hand, “Jaws” was based on actual events and a real shark and my fear of swimming at night was born.
I know you will create your own monster recipe and share any stories.
I love a good scare.
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