Rubric for Scary Short Story Directions: Write a 5-5 page scary story that uses elements of absence

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Name________________________ Creative Writing

Due Date: Thurs. Dec. 20th

Rubric for Scary Short Story
Directions: Write a 2.5-5 page scary story that uses elements of absence (the unknown, the unexpected, the unconscious, the unseen, paranormal, unexplained occurrences) and elements of presence (helplessness, urgency, suspense, tension, intensity) as you pit a victim against a villain.
In order to successfully fill your story with the necessary ingredients, first complete the Scary Story Outline worksheet, which will enable you to flesh out your plot and give your characters some distinct internal conflicts, wants, needs, desires, etc.

Some Suggestions to Consider:
*Internal Conflict: Your character may become his/her worst enemy! The villain might lie within the character’s heart, soul, or mind! (Psychological fear is real in a scary story! Your villain might be a figment of the character’s over-active mind or fears)
*Surprise Twists!: Try to make the story unpredictable by adding elements of surprise. Leave the reader in suspense before showing the actual conflict, villain, or scary moment.
*Details!: Use the powers of description to enhance the mood! Sensory details are key! Don’t hold back! Let the reader experience the physical sensations that accompany the character’s fear along with the vivid awareness of the senses.

*Techniques: Vary your writing style: Use action, conflict, internal dialogue, conversational dialogue, flashback, foreshadowing, back story

*Rhythm: Vary your moments of equilibrium (where the character is in a state of normalcy) followed by a break in the equilibrium (inciting force!) in order to build TENSION!

Writer’s Rubric

  1. The writer tells a scary story which builds in intensity and suspense until the end. The sensory details make the story come alive. Several lines of dialogue are included.

  1. The writer tells a scary story which includes intense and suspenseful moments. More details are needed to make the reader feel he/she is there. Dialogue is included.

  1. The writer tells a scary story. Many more details and dialogue are needed.

  1. Elements of a story are missing, or the story doesn’t focus on one plot line.

  1. The writer needs to select a topic suitable for this assignment.


  1. The narrative is well organized, and paragraphs are used correctly. Each part of the story flows well into the next.

  1. The narrative is well organized. Paragraphs are mostly used correctly. Most of the story flows well.

  1. The writer needs to pay more attention to how paragraphs are used. The writer also needs to work on smooth transitions from one part of the story to the next.

  1. Paragraphs and flow need much attention.

  1. The story needs to be organized.


  1. The voice in the narrative adds much to the suspense and intensity of the story and creates interest.

4 The voice helps create interest in the story.
  1. The voice could be stronger. The writer needs to show more feeling.

  1. A voice can sometimes be heard. The writer needs to show much more feeling.

1 The voice cannot be heard.
Word Choice

5 The writer’s exceptional word choice captures the story and engages the audience.

4 Unique and specific language creates clear pictures.

3 Some words needs to be more specific in order to create pictures.

2 Many more specific words need to be used.

1 The writer shows no interest in word choice.

Sentence Fluency

5 The sentences are smoothly written and show variety. Each flows into the next

smoothly. Short sentences or fragments are only used for stylistic purposes.

4 The sentences show variety, but some should read more smoothly.

3 A better variety of sentences is needed. Sentences do not read smoothly.

2 Many short or incomplete sentences make the writing choppy.

1 Few sentences are written well.

5 The narrative is almost error free. The rubric and all drafts are attached.

4 The narrative has a few errors or is missing a draft or rubric.

3 Several errors confuse the reader.

2 Many errors make the narrative confusing and hard to read.

1 Much help is needed.

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