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Writing Scary Scenes: Professional Techniques for Thrillers, Horror and Other Exciting Fiction (Writer's Craft Book 2) Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
This book explains in precise detail all the ins and outs of making your scene slightly suspenseful or terrifying - depending on the genre you're writing. I think that's what makes this book stand out from others. Other how-to books I've seen concentrate mostly on the horror/gore effect, which isn't what everyone wants. Romantic suspense, YA and mysteries aren't looking for over the top gore but horror and some thrillers are. So whatever your genre, you'll learn how to apply the perfect balance.
There are added chapters from the class. My favorites were Chases and Escapes, Villains and Monsters and Backloading.
Every author, no matter the genre, would benefit from this book. It's helped me tremendously with a couple short stories I've written and scenes in my work in progress.
There are several points in which she lists several ideas that can serve as jumping off points and save time during brainstorming sessions. For example, in the chapter on the use of darkness to set a scary mood, she lists about 20 different general ideas on how to incorporate it into your story.
My favorite chapters where Flavors of Fear, where she catalogues different levels and types of fear and the physical manifestations that go along with them, and Wimp Effect, which gives tips on how to use the techniques to show your protagonist feeling fear without having them come off as an unsympathetic coward.
As a little bonus, she includes 3 original short stories at the end. Any of these alone would be worth the price of the book, and they serve as a nice quiz where you can try to identify what she is doing to create her effects based on what you've just read.
All in all a great reference to have on hand and a great value.
Throughout the twenty-six chapters, Rayne Hall will help you write the perfect scary scene that will grab a hold of your readers and won't let them go until their hearts are racing and they're afraid to turn to the next page. Learn how to instantly hook a reader with just a simple line of anxiety and fear. Don't try to use too much gore, though it does work for some tales, but try to show your readers what your character is feeling and describe the atmosphere around him or her.
Remember never to throw a character into an unnecessary scene, but give a clever reason or motivation for what is going on. Have your character isolated from the outside world; turn off the lights, cut the land line and either have the cell phone lose signal or the battery goes dead.
Using all five senses (sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch) will give a reader a feeling that they're actually walking along side your character, feeling everything they feel. Give your story a creepy atmosphere with shutters banging, floorboards squeaky, etc.
Whether you are a published writer or a newbie, I think everybody can benefit from reading Writing Scary Scenes, as it gives great tips. The author even shares a few of his short stories at the end of the book, giving you an idea how to set up a horror scene. I have published several spooky stories for kids and I think the book has great tips that I'll be using in the future.
I received a complimentary sample in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
The section on sounds that help set a mood ("euphonics"). For example, use lots of "s" sounds to create a spooky mood.
Next up: Writing Dark Stories!
Her vivid examples are meant to "show," rather than "tell," and her writing style makes it so easy to translate the knowledge in this book into your own projects. I'm writing a contemporary romance. Half way through "Writing Scary Scenes" I already had pages of notes to help me improve my own story and my book isn't even intended to have scary scenes.
I like all of Hall's books, both her fiction and her craft books. When your book is complete, I'd suggest checking out Hall's new book, "Why Does My Book Not Sell? 20 Simple Fixes," so you can make it right before you publish. Great info there, too.
Most recent customer reviews
Rayne Hall knows how to scare readers. “Writing Scary Scenes” lays out powerful techniques for whatever kind of fears you want to create.Read more
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