We reached out to our dedicated Wattpad readers to uncover what they're truly looking for in a read as the Halloween haze approaches. Whether you're crafting supernatural narratives or plotting the perfect chilling tale, find out the secrets that keep readers on the edge of their seats. So, delve into the comments below and harness their insights to your advantage when writing stories within dark genres. 

The experience

"I love the tension of darker stories! Unreliable narrators, fast-paced writing, and well-executed plot twists keep me on the edge of my seat, but what hits the hardest is when the story touches on real-life fears. If the writing is immersive, the anticipation of what might happen next always triggers an adrenaline rush!" - Monrosey 

"The slow build up of adrenaline pumping situations that bursts like a damn and a torrent of terrifying yet exciting thrill breaks out, making your heart beat at 120BPM and your stomach writhe with fictional tension!" - MJKristo11

"Stories [that] present a heightened version of reality, so all the emotions are more intense. I love when fantasy and horror elements act as metaphors for human experience—it's one thing to have a gripping plot, but having themes that resonate is what makes a story truly memorable for me." - WrenMorgan

"It's a kind of temptation deep inside my soul that in the real world has to be kept hidden but there [in the story] you can enjoy whatever your heart longs for. Especially the things you can't find in the real world. I guess everybody wants to see the dark side, even just for once, let their darkest dreams become reality." - TatiaSamaelPetrova 

The characters

"What draws me in the most is when a character knows that something is off, that something is wrong and they shouldn't trust someone, but they live in the delusion and do it anyway. It's equally frustrating and captivating, especially when you lead up to the reveal of betrayal" - Balance376

"The very nature of human fear itself. Who can dive into such a subject? When one does it willingly, the effect is still the same as one who has been thrown in against their will, but it's that little nuance that catches me and keeps me hooked. When that boundary is crossed, who knows if the person will come back the same unscathed person or if they'll be scarred for life? Even those answers may leave us hanging!" - WendyyWolfe 

"Depth of character development and unexpected plot twists because the former helps me at least get a glimpse of how the main character will handle events in the latter. It's always fun to know your main character has a good grip on his/her reality regardless of what you throw at them." - Jaq_Willow

The plot

"Where [werewolves] interact with other species too, like vampires. I feel like species should be more involved." - DontFearImHere

"For me, it is the suspense—the edge of your seat dread that plagues the reader when a character is thrust into mortal danger." - MissLollyGag

"When you think you have the story all figured out but then a plot twist kicks in. Especially when it's a jaw dropping twist, it leaves you craving more and in my case, biting my nails!" - TheIntrovertDiva

The setting

"When an author describes the gloomy atmosphere, the emotional uncertainty, and sense of impending doom with such realism, you are no longer reading a book in the comfort of your home, but rather experiencing fear as you become the character in peril." - MissLollyGag

"Unsettling atmosphere; the eeriness lingering in the ambience, a shot of silence and loud thumping hearts, adrenaline rush overtaking the calmness of the character as they discover some uncanny incidents happening." - WinterBreeze12

Now that you know what readers want, don't ghost them! After all, your story has the power to leave an echo in the dark and quiet corners of reader's minds, long after the last story part has been read.

Get into the horror zone with our Into the Dark: Creator Toolkit

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