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How To Write Depravity

The dark and depressing

By BlankmarksPublished 2 months ago 5 min read
How To Write Depravity
Photo by BP Miller on Unsplash

WARNING: I will talk, link, and examine VERY disturbing stuff. If that will trigger you or you're easily disturbed, Run.

Have you ever looked at horror and wondered why people like it? Deeper still, why do you people like reading the most depraved things imaginable?

What if you want to take a dip into the tar pit and write some yourself? This post aims to answer those questions starting with the most important one.


You might, with good reason, wonder why people write such sick stuff.

Is it a mental issue? Lack of love when they were children? Maybe they’re just evil people projecting their fantasies?

Aside from the last one, the first two are possible but I doubt it. There are 3 main reasons I’ve found for writing/reading this stuff.

The first is simple, a lot of people have a fascination with the dark, disturbing, and macabre. This is the natural and extreme endpoint of that fascination.

The second is practical, to be a better horror writer. Delving deep into depravity-filled works, you’ll find that most fall within horror. They also can be some of the most disturbing horrors you’ll find.

If you like horror, especially gore or deeply disturbing ones, then ask yourself why.

The reason is the same for these stories. Taking the skills honed in the depths can help with tamer horror stories.

The third one is more spiritual. Ever heard the saying, you need the pain to appreciate the pleasure? The same logic can apply here.

When you see and experience the worst things imaginable, you’ll appreciate the good in the world a lot more.

Taking it a step further, if you can stomach that depravity and still be optimistic. If you can still love life afterward then you’ve earned that optimism. You understand evil and still have faith in the good.

Maybe it will inspire you to stop such things.

Yeah, writers and readers don’t see these things IRL but the thought that something even close to that can happen is eye-opening.

Those are the 3 reasons I’ve found, if they don’t work for you then I understand. But if they do and you still want to learn how to write it, then let’s start with the first tip.

Go Into Extreme Detail

To sell the horror of the scene, it’s important to go into extreme detail. Most depraved stories rely on strong attention to the body and environment.

Go down to bones, the sound, and smell. Linger in moments of pain or disgust and use disruptive words.

This is the skill that gets an upgrade after writing depraved “fiction”. After writing “Who Deserves To Die”, I noticed an increase in detail and imagination when writing.

It’s to the point where I have to pull it back for non-horror for the sake of pacing. So that’s something to keep in mind.

That’s just one part of the scene, time to talk about characters.

Get Into The Mind of The Victim and Perpetrator

Depravity and horror usually involve victims and perpetrators. Depending on what story you’re trying to tell, you need to get into the head-space of one of them.

Explore how they feel in the current situation, specifically the pain and what’s breaking. Show and/or tell how the mind is slowly dissolving from the madness.

Take a page from Lovecraft and describe what’s happening to be so out there, that it’s indescribable. Any and all horror tools are yours to use in these types of stories.

Go crazy and use your imagination.

The final step is to make those characters likable.

Likable Characters

This depends on if you want a shallow or deep experience. If you want something quick, shallow, and to the point, then the characters can be flat.

If you want to affect the audience then writing characters they like will enhance the scenes.

Character writing can be its own post so instead, I’ll link one made before plus some great videos on it.

5 Ways to Make a Character more Likable

Characterization – Terrible Writing Advice

How to Write an Interesting Character in 5 minutes

Try not to fall too deep in love with your character though. Remember, they’re going to suffer in stories like this. Either that or they’re evil.

Final tip, if you writing in a visual medium then character design is important. Cute designs inspire empathy and the urge to protect so use that to your advantage.

Not in a visual medium? Write them to be and act cute in some way. Reliability will also help.

But the best way to do this and everything before is to study the greats.

Study Other Works

I’m sure you know horror writers and studios that explore the deepest depths of evil. Study how they write scenes and characters.

It might be hard on the first read-through but it’s important if you want to write something similar.

You can also learn new and inventive ways of torture.

Pay attention to the descriptors they use for the sickening scenes. Look for the moment when you begin to care for the characters. Ask yourself why.

The best way to get started is to walk in the footsteps of Sydsnaps and me. Again, don’t do any of these if you’re not ready for some sicking stuff.

This Visual Novel Traumatized Me

Maggot Baits: From The Creators of Euphoria (Here’s my little video on it too.)

I Discovered Acid Play and Hate My Life

I Can’t Stop Torturing Myself With Intense Insect H*ntai

This H*ntai Game Broke My Mind

The Eroge that Traumatized My Childhood

After seeing all that, know that’s only the middle of the iceberg.

Other than those points, there’s not much more to say.


That’s why you would write depravity and how to pull it off. If you made it this far then congrats. Share links to your stories in the comments, I would love to read them.

Let’s leave off by answering a question, is there a limit?

In the comfort of your own home, no. But if you want to share it with more than just a small niche, then yes.

I’ve seen some things and one thing that seems to be the limit are children. Don’t drag them into these types of stories directly. Implication seems fine.

Depravity without some substance will come off as lazy, boring, or too edgy. In the end, it depends on your audience. Start mild and work down to you and your audience’s limit.

Now go out there and write something horrific.

With that, I’m done.

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About the Creator


I’m Blankmarks and I love magic and fiction. I’ll write about various magic types and concepts not only for fun but to help writers create new magical worlds. I'll also post short stories, writing tips, and more.

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