From my experience of reading The Vanishing by Wendy Webb, I’ve devised this handy list of How Not To Write A Gothic Ghost Story, though it could easily also be known as How Not To Write Any Story.
First, begin with a promising premise: Julia’s life is turned upside down after her husband’s suicide and societal uproar against him conning thousands of people out of their life savings. Alone and estranged from society, Julia hides in her own home when a man shows up on her door step, presenting a solution to her situation. She is whisked away to start a new life out of the public’s eye, working as a companion to a cooky, elderly horror novelist in a haunted mansion – but strange things start happening, and Julia questions why she was really brought to the house. Once you have that, proceed to ruin it by following these crucial steps (WARNING: minor spoilers): Continue reading