Fret not mortals for I have come up with the perfect little guide to How To Write The Best Halloween Book that is not Horror because that’s different!

And don’t doubt my qualifications to write this post because I’ll have you know that (a.) I’ve never written a book in my whole entire 16 year old life and (b.) my country is a sad sad place and doesn’t celebrate Halloween and probably kicks puppies in its free time.

So I’m OBVIOUSLY the BEST person to write this post in the most condescending tone I can muster!*

*If you don’t believe me then begone blind bat and ner return!

Don’t worry I like to think that what I lack in experience I more than make up for with enthusiasm!

Imagini pentru sherlock murder gif
accurate portrayal of me at all times


And since all the things you’ve ever learned you’ve learned from the Internet, I present:

Ioana’s Foolproof (but untested) Guide To Writing A Halloween Book!


#1 : This is not Horror so you can drop all of that horror genre tropes and characters you got there now

I’ve said it once I’ve said it an infinite times : Halloween =/= Horror! (hopefully you read this as “doesn’t equal”…if  you did here’s a cookie)

Those 2 are wholly different! Maybe neighbors but definitely one’s a goth and one’s an emo. You just don’t mix them. The same way one shouldn’t mix apple and pumpkin when one’s baking a sensational pie. It’s just an act of pure villainy!

Mind exercise if you’re rising your eyebrows dubiously at me :

Halloweentown => is a Halloween movie.

That one movie about crazy psychopaths that murder everyone and leave all the blood staining the brand new precious carpet like absolute madmen => it’s a horror movie.

Halloween is spooky and silly and here for all the memes. Horror is ….well I can’t say I’m exactly a fan of horror ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I like my characters well developed and with a good reason for murder.


#2: The spookiness is in THE AIR. So think weather.

Is it raining enough in your book? No? Well then IT’S FOR NOTHING young hobbit.

Rain brings the melancholy, the sadness, the sleepiness! It brings the smell of autumn and sticks the leaves to the pavement. How can it be misty enough for a mindless ghost apparition or an accidental murder witnessing IF IT’S NOT RAINY?

If you setting is one of those mythical countries where it never rains like California than…well…I can’t help ya. Foreshadow the apocalypse if you must.


#3: Costume parties of absolute strangeness!!

They are perfect if ya make them strange! Weird costumes that look too real? A million souls dancing to a chant? Candles and teens and all of the party feels!

Borrow a page from Holly Black or Moira Fowley-Doyle : something always happens at a part. And it ends in fire or blood and everybody is sad.

WHICH is the goal here because sad it wonderful and interesting!


#4: The Woods™

Just…set everything near woods. It rises the spookiness level bar up and it’s perfect for all creepy monsters and tragedy AND pretty trees with yellow leaves. So enthusiastically think NATURE. Pot the smol plants, have a corn maze, endless wheat fields, apple orchards => nature is important to AUTUMN.


#5 : Pumpkin Spice is your bestest friend

Just give your poor characters some food. Be it a pumpkin spice muffin, a hot chocolate with cinnamon or an apple pie – just feed the poor souls. Don’t let them starve to death be a benevolent creator. Also it leaves the readers hungry and we readers love that believe me. So whip out your inner basicquesc creature and embrace the pumpkin spice.

Imagine similară



Ok this contradicts point #1 probably because I’m a mess of contradictions myself. But if you follow my instructions you should probably end up ok and not in a Gordian knot. TANGLED LIMBS ARE COMPLETELY FINE.

But have the murder, make the characters suffer muahahahaha. Ahem. Be it a hallucination, a dream, a real murder in the past or present – you just need the deaths!

Or you can take the absolute best approach and murder everyone slowly. SUFFERING! FUN!


#7 : Very strong family or friendship bonds

If you face the supernatural on such a spooky occasion it would be extremely rude not to invite all you close ones! Families that slay together stay together and who are we to contradict such ancient proverb of wisdom?

If you hear a crunch coming from the kitchen in the middle of the night don’t be a mere fool and go down to investigate if the ghosts might be eating chocolate digestives by yourself.

Bring a sister, one half of your parentals (doesn’t matter which half), the family pet, a friend that was conveniently there! 80% of the time you can be certain the demon/killer is not merely eating chocolate cookies (at ghosts there’s a 60% chance since they are weak for chocolate digestives) and you can throw the closest living being into the poltergeist’s arms if need be! Don’t be stupid, stupid.

And they make everything way more angsty and tragic and the goal here is to make everyone cry.


Sprinkle in some poor mental health

The horror should affect the characters on the inside too! Because ghosts exist inside more than outside!!

If I like some things in my spooky books those are grief, depression, anxiety, ocd – those are far more challenging than a stupid ghost man with a knife that turns out was the butler all along.

Make me cry challenge is what I’m trying to say here. Punch me in the heart!! I want to feel it breaking!!


Add a dash of diversity

This has to exist in all stories otherwise sorry mate it’s just not realistic.


Now your story is prepared to bake in the oven of NaNoWriMo and come out beautiful and very very dangerously sharp! Congratulations the baby book you will birth is a knIFE and it will STAB US ALL in the feels.



Do YOU agree with my list? What would YOU add? Do YOU agree with the absolutely correct fact that Halloween is different from Horror?



5 thoughts on “How to write the perfect Halloween book! – a totally trustworthy guide by yours truly

  1. I think I’m going to read this post over and over again BECAUSE I LOVE IT with my ENTIRE heart – and not just because it was helpful, but because it just reminded me of why I absolutely ADORE your blog. Like, literally, this might rekindle my obsession over your posts because I mean this? Right here. THIS IS THE CONTENT THAT MY SOUL LIVES FOR. I’m sorry to sound like such a super fan, but I genuinely can’t stop screaming over how funny and good and well-written this is. And look at those graphics and THOSE PERFECTLY CHOSEN GIFS, and how this so witty and beautiful and ART (yes i called your blog post art I’m trying my best in life) and how this post just feels like the existence of Halloween! Why can’t I be this naturally good at blogging?!

    Also yes! Halloween does NOT equal horror, I’m glad we cleared that up! I love Halloween (even though I’ve never been trick or treating in my life) because it honestly feels SO magical. It kinda sucks they don’t celebrate it in Romania but HEY! You have us internet friends to share virtual candy with.

    “And since all the things you’ve ever learned you’ve learned from the Internet,” I don’t know why I was so confused about this but I got it and wow WHY WOULD YOU SAY SOMETHING SO CONTROVERSIAL YET BRAVE??? (insert that GIF here please)

    Also, rain is MAGIC!! I love being in the rain – rain at night, rain where there are massive puddles and your amazing socks are wet and the tips of your toes are cold, rain where you have no coat and you get SOAKED, rain where it’s so loud you can’t even hear yourself think, rain where there are umbrellas but somehow you still get wet, rain in the morning waking you up – I JUST LOVE RAIN OKAY. And what’s a book without a rain scene and then a murder and everyone’s crying but no one can tell if it’s raindrops or tears??

    I didn’t have a costume party planned out in my book but hey guess who has one now? I love fancy-dress parties IRL and in books becasue everyone gets to dress up and look pretty and murderous and there’s also sort of confusion about who is who because faces are obscured and and – it’s just great for everything to go wrong!! I love it.

    Also friendship and family bonds for life! Luckily my book has LOADS of that loads of disappearances (not murders!) and oh everyone’s sad and depressed I LOVE MY CHARACTERS.

    Also the questions at the end are SCARING ME, I am a fragile soul. “do YOUUUUU have anything to add?” “LET ME KNOW!!” Gosh, Ioana, I just jumped out of my SKIN.

    I know I’ve already said this but the GRAPHICS in this post?? The “Let’s Chat?” The PUMPKINS, the colours, the…ugh everything. okay, I’m a MESS and this post is perfection.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YEEEEY THE ENTIRELY DOWNRIGHT ANTHOLOGY WORTHY LONG ISLA COMMENTS ARE BACK!!! wooohoooo *sprinkle some spooky confetti for this Halloween eve miracle*

      (also look at you back again, giving me motivation to keep blogging!!! what an icon you are!!! thank youUUUUUUU!!! you’re giving me FEELINGS!!!)

      Well if you sound like a super fan THAN MAY I SOUND LIKE A SUPER FAN RIGHT BACK??? you make mugs for my blog and I make mugs for your blog and it should work out great in theory!!!

      and hush you’re absolutely amazing at blogging!!!! i don’t think i tell you that enough!! you need to hear it all the time!!!

      I’ve been stealing the Internet’s virtual candy for forever now so I feel like the Internet is taking good care of me. THANKS Y’ALL FOR LETTING ME BORROW THE HALLOWEN SPIRIT IT’S GOOFY AND SPOOKY AND I LOVE IT!!

      yes ALL THE RAIN. tbh i like the smell of rain so much. it smells like a hundred memories all at once and it’s so melancholic. WE NEED MORE AUTUMN RAIN BOOKS!! and yes yes yes to the murder. rain + murder = great things awaiting.

      SEE YOUR BOOK IS GOING TO BE AMAZING!!!! obviously while writing that last part of the post I remembered you were writing a NaNo book and I FANGIRLED AGAIN AGSJLELAKAOE. see it’s why I mentioned NaNo!

      whY wOuLd yOu bE scAReD??? it’s totally nOrMaL??

      ayeee thx I actually worked on these new graphics a bit and I LOVE THE “LETS CHAT” ONE I THINK IT REPRESENTS THE BLOG AESTHETIC WELL so *bows*!!!


  2. THIS POST WAS SO GOOD. I chuckled my way through all of it. The murder rainbow has a new special place in my heart. Man, I wish I could go around with that like a sign on my forehead at work, LOL!

    In my option, all books everywhere should have THE WOODS. Woods are my aesthetic. 😀

    It’s also so nice to come across someone else who doesn’t really experience the Haloween culture. I’m in the UK, but my parents were always totally against the holiday so I’ve never been involved in the festivities!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I LOVE this – you never fail to make me laugh ahaha! And yes, the woods is such a perfect setting. Every book should have a wood. Every. Single. Book.

    Also, I hate horror too – I don’t understand why people make Halloween about horror and gore when it could be about pumpkins, hot chocolate and blankets.. like HELLO??? HOT CHOCOLATE PEOPLE.

    Loved this post 😀 you’re so funny ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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