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Writing Exercise: The Nightmare of the Dark Castle (Dark Fantasy)

A young hero exploring an ancient, abandoned castle surrounded by a cursed forest. The interior of the castle is dark and eerie, with moss-covered walls and broken windows. The hero holds a torch, casting flickering shadows that create an atmosphere of mystery and fear.


Introduction to the exercise and its purpose:

This exercise is part of a series aimed at improving the “Show, Don't Tell” technique in various literary genres. For the dark fantasy genre, the goal is to create a sense of mystery and terror through vivid and detailed descriptions.


A young hero ventures into an abandoned castle surrounded by a cursed forest. The castle walls are covered with moss and the windows are shattered. Inside, the darkness is total, broken only by sporadic flashes of moonlight.

Writing exercise:

Recount the young hero's exploration of the castle, focusing on his sensory perceptions and physical reactions. Show fear and disquiet through descriptions of the environment and his movements.

Suggestions and exercise development:

Begin by describing the spooky atmosphere of the castle, with details such as the smell of mold and the sound of footsteps echoing in the silence. Show how the young hero advances cautiously, the flickering flashlight casting sinister shadows on the walls. Describe his accelerated heartbeat, his sweaty palms and the chills that run down his back. Illustrate how every sudden noise makes him jerk and how he peers into the darkness trying to discern shapes and movements. End with the discovery of an eerie figure silhouetted against the moonlight, heightening the suspense.


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