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Writing Scary Scenes: Professional Techniques for Thrillers, Horror and Other Exciting Fiction (Writer's Craft Book 2) by [Hall, Rayne]
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Writing Scary Scenes: Professional Techniques for Thrillers, Horror and Other Exciting Fiction (Writer's Craft Book 2) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Length: 160 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Details

  • File Size: 1268 KB
  • Print Length: 160 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Rayne Hall; Writer's Craft edition (January 7, 2014)
  • Publication Date: January 7, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008IEJTSE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,878 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Thomas Quackenbush on January 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
(The author provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

The majority of the tips in Writing Scary Scenes are what I have taught middle school students. Time and again through this book, I imagined Hall leaning over to instruct seventh graders. So, when in the introduction she states outright "Writing Scary Scenes is a book for advanced-level and professional writers", I admit I scoffed. It is difficult to believe this is for adults when she imparts wisdom such as "A scene which ends where the PoV is in acute trouble with no obvious way out [...] is called a `cliffhanger' and it's a sure way to make the reader turn to the next page" or "Readers buy romance novels because of the love story" and "Readers who buy horror books want to be scared." If I judged this as a beginner's guide to writing, I could agree that it is a good jumping off point. If I am to judge it as Hall insists it is, as a book for professional and adult writers, I must hold it to a much higher standard.

If you are the sort of writer who prefers to scan through a manual, find someone else's sentence to express a particular mood or emotion, and slot it into your work, you may find more value in Hall's book than I did. One bit of marginalia from my initial reading of this book is that it "sometimes reads like a technically manual for aliens on how to fake being human". Anyone finding this book brilliant is going to write similar stories fit for high school literary magazines published in October, but that likely won't be seen anywhere else. Writing is creativity and this book advocates for formulaic but technically competent authorship. That is not remotely the same thing as interesting, and predictability is the least scary thing I can imagine.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I devoured this book only a couple of hours after receiving my review copy. It starts off with different types, or "flavours," of fear, including the signs, symptoms and how each type of fear can work in fiction. Simply reading through them brought to mind some of my favorite scary scenes as well as scenes from my works that could use a little punching up. Rayne has a knack for breaking down scenes, emotions, and even language in a way that will get readers thinking.

For example, Chapter 3: What lurks behind that door? reminded me of 'Resident Evil' - the first one, back on the PS1. If you've ever played the game, you'll remember the doors (and the stairs)--everything else fades to black while a squeaky door slowly opens. Sure, in this case it gets old, very old since you're going through the same slow scene every time you leave or enter a room, but admit it--your palms get a little sweaty and your heart throws in a couple of extra beats while you anticipate what will be awaiting you when the game resumes. But, have I ever used this tactic in a story? No, but now that I'm thinking about it, I have some good ideas.

The book is concise, yet it brings a tool shed of tips and tricks to your fingertips. From using body cues, and understanding how vocabulary choices will resonate with the reader, to pacing and using the senses, I couldn't finish a chapter without thinking of something to use in one of my scenes.

Plus, it will resonate with a variety of genres. If you need to build suspense, anxiety, or just scare the begabbers out of your readers (while also making sure your MC is not a WIMP) this book will show you how to do it.

Favorite Quote: "Heroes may be frightened, but they may not be wusses. Often, the difference lies not in the hero's actions, but in the words you've used."

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author for an honest review.)
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Format: Kindle Edition
Writing Scary Scenes [Kindle Edition] by Rayne Hall is another masterful work by a superb teacher and writer. She has used her expertise to prepare and teach several courses which help writers, both novice and advanced hone their craft into something that is tighter, more dramatic and realistic.

In her latest book, Writing Scary Scenes, Ms Hall takes the writer on an adventure showing them how to improve their writing along the way. Her advice, and instruction is broken into topics that can be easily digested and applied creating a work that will keep your reader hooked and unwilling to put your masterpiece down.

Her suggestions are practical and are backed up with a lot of examples. Anyone can 'tell' a writer how to make their scene scarier, Ms. Hall shows you how to do. Her suggestions and instructions will help the writer create scenes that are scary and riveting. Many different books that provide a 'how to' instruction neglect to warn you about over using a specific style or type of writing. Ms Hall doesn't hesitate to point out the drawbacks of each her suggested techniques and will often warn the writer against over using them, quickly identifying the result if they do.

In my efforts to improve my writing I have read a number of books by a variety of authors but none have managed to convey the process required to improve my writing. Rayne Hall's latest book, Writing Scary Scenes, is a must have reference book for any writers resource library. It presents a writing skill in small enough packages that can be easily absorbed and applied to your work. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that feels their writing lacks the hook they are looking for in their writing and the accomplished author that is just looking for a yardstick to measure their work against.
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