Backyard woods - Horror story inspiration

Last week I shared a photo taken from my front door, explaining how the setting I write in can inspire emotions and settings in the stories I write. Today’s story setting inspiration is a photo from the other side of my house — the woods running deep behind it.

I mentioned in the previous post that I live in a house on a wooded lot at the end of a road. It’s semi-isolated with little traffic and neighbors just far enough away that they wouldn’t likely hear you if something was wrong. That isolated feeling alone can inspire all sorts of creepy scenarios in a writer’s head. But the woods surrounding the house do an even better job of that.

Imagine being on that isolated lot, alone in a big empty house after dark. Then imagine a windy or stormy night. The wind whispers and thunders through the trees all at once. The sky isn’t just dark, but completely black with no moonlight breaking through. If you’re brave enough to step outside and look up at the towering trees, you might be able to make out swaying so dramatic it looks like massive tree trunks could snap like toothpicks. Large branches routinely come crashing down.

That’s the reality of my daily life. And vicious winds racing through the woods are quite common because of the house’s location and elevation. It’s at its worst in the summer when those trees completely block the sky. There are days when this environment makes me want to think about anything but horror because it’s genuinely unnerving. But, more times than not, I find this environment incredibly inspiring when it’s time to write.

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