AUTHOR’S NOTE: This post is for literature purposes ONLY to help aspiring writers. I do not condone, support, or recommend torture in any way! And if you need to act out what your characters do in this sort of scene, I feel it is my duty to tell you not to do it to another human being or with weapons. Thank you!And with that stated clearly...
The best tip that I could ever give you, or any writer who needs to write a torture scene, is to think about what you are afraid of. What are your phobias? What are your nightmares? What would be the most agonizing pain that you could imagine? What do you believe would be the most horrible thing that someone could do to another human being? Make a list of your answers and then pick the method of torture according to what would fit best with your story.
You will also want to tap into your reader’s fears. Ask your family and friends about their worst fears and see if you can incorporate one or two of the ideas you get from them into the torture scene.
Here are 5 phobias that many people have:
1. Arachnophobia: The fear of spiders.2. Ophidiophobia: The fear of snakes.3. Acrophobia: The fear of heights.4. Trypanophobia: The fear of injections.5. Pyrophobia: The fear of fire.
If you use one of those then you will surely frighten a lot of people!
The next thing you could consider is whether or not tools or weapons will be involved. There are thousands of tools/weapons out there and you might find one that could make this scene in your book more horrifying. Just think of that sledgehammer Stephen King used in his book “Misery”. I still get goosebumps when I think about it!
What does he/she feel while they are committing this gruesome act? Giddy. Angry. Desperate. Vengeful. Does the sound of the other person screaming fill them with joy? And, of course, why are they doing it in the first place? Is he/she doing it because they have no other choice or because it brings them pleasure?
Don’t forget to share what the person being tortured is thinking and feeling too. When you’re describing what is being done to them, share their pain, their screams, and their tears. Tell your readers about their fear of the person hurting them. Reveal their thoughts about death.
What do they see? What do they hear, smell, and even taste?
Finally, you need to figure out how you’re going to end this scene. If you’re writing a mystery or horror novel about a person who is kidnapped and living through this agony every day, you can obviously keep on going with the torturing, but it will have to momentarily end until the next time. In that case, you get to do this all over again.
If this is a onetime event in your book, you’ll have to consider why, how, and when the torturing stops. Does someone come to the rescue? Do they escape or are they killed? Does the person doing the torturing (possibly the protagonist?) leave after they get what they want?
Think it all through. And try not to frighten yourself too much!
SHARE: Your tips for writing torture.