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Writing Scary Scenes (Writer's Craft #2)

4.26  ·  Rating Details  ·  117 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Are your frightening scenes scary enough? Learn practical tricks to turn up the suspense. Make your readers' hearts hammer with suspense, their breaths quicken with excitement, and their skins tingle with goosebumps of delicious fright.

This book contains practical suggestions how to structure a scary scene, increase the suspense, make the climax more terrifying, make the
Kindle Edition, 83 pages
Published July 6th 2012 by Scimitar Press
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Cutlass by Rayne HallBites by Rayne HallHaunted by Rayne HallStorm Dancer by Rayne HallA Witch Without Magic by Larisa Walk
Professional Authors Group
6th out of 88 books — 6 voters
On Writing by Stephen KingThe Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr.Stein On Writing by Sol SteinWriting the Breakout Novel by Donald MaassStory by Robert McKee
Books For Writers
33rd out of 85 books — 63 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 273)
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Nov 10, 2015 Jennifer rated it really liked it
This was incredibly helpful. I've written in the horror genre before, but I mostly wrote from instinct. I wanted to spend some time learning about what skills other authors employ in order to properly set a scary mood. Rayne Hall does a great job of breaking down all the different forms of fear, and how to navigate your way through each one. There are also tips and tricks on what words work best, and which ones create a weaker response in your reader. Examples are used so you can see these trick ...more
Mar 03, 2013 Ivana rated it liked it
I've read this book twice, first when I received the review copy and now closer to the blog tour. Since the book is rather a short one (80 pages) and simple, I'll also keep my review short and sweet.

While some of the techniques that Rayne Hall writes about were not new to me, there were some new things that this book introduced me to. If you haven't read too much about the craft yet, it's simplicity will work for you: there is no beating about the bush, just plain explanation, example of use (an
Mar 01, 2013 Lindie rated it really liked it
Scary stories are my most favourite things in the world, be it in book or movie form. I love that sense of dread that comes with waiting for something to go wrong. Horror, thrillers, dark fantasy, yes please, do want.

That said, for as much as I like reading it, I am complete fail at writing it. My writing tends to turn out incredibly fluffy. So when I saw this book on tour, I had to sign up. Please Ms Hall, teach me! And learn I did. It is a very informative writing craft book, well laid out and
Debbie Christiana
Aug 17, 2012 Debbie Christiana rated it it was amazing
I love the horror/thriller genre. Even those you who do not; most of us enjoy a good tale of suspense. As much fun as it is to read or watch, it’s very hard to write. I’ve been fortunate to take Rayne’s writing classes including Writing Scary Scenes.

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 concen
Adam Smith
Jan 06, 2015 Adam Smith rated it really liked it
Horror is a difficult beast to tame. What scares you in your head might fall flat on paper. When you write a story, you need to know how to tell it in just the right way. This book will show you where to start.

A very helpful book for writing scary scenes. Some of it might seem obvious, but there is still more than meets the eye, and always more to learn.

A good book for those looking to develop their craft.

***Reading Challenge 2015: a book you can finish in a day***
Sep 12, 2012 Teresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rayne Hall’s book Writing Scary Scenes is a must for every horror or suspense writer. Hall delves deep into every facet of how to create those spine tingling, breath stealing moments in a book.

Hall breaks the process down into areas such as sound, darkness, isolation, and more, then goes further into the depths of scene structure, location, how to manipulate the elements of pacing, infusing the scene with sensual details and many others guaranteed to ratchet up those thrills and chills.

There is
Laurie Treacy
Apr 05, 2013 Laurie Treacy rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
As a writer, I never stop picking up books about "the craft" and learning as much as I can. Rayne Hall's Writing Scary Scenes may be short at eighty pages but packs a ton of information writers can readily use. Scary doesn't necessarily mean just horror or thrillers. Scary can also mean increasing the tension in particular scenes to excite your reader into reading more. The information here is invaluable and I know I will be applying some of the tips in my own works. I will also keep the author' ...more
Ann Simpson
Jan 14, 2013 Ann Simpson rated it it was amazing
This is a great guide for writing that believable scary scene. Rayne Hall first describes human reactions to fear, shock, horror, panic and so on, a great guide alone. Then Rayne discusses instant hooks, dark and dangerous, sounds, suspense and much more, writing 'tricks' I like to call them. Actually it is a skill Rayne has put together in this easy to read guide for authors new and old to keep on hand. I recommend this book to all paranormal, supernatural, mystery and suspense writers.
J.D. Selmser
Aug 17, 2015 J.D. Selmser rated it it was amazing
It's a fantastic book that delivers exactly what it promises. It provided detailed in-depth understanding and steps on how to write realistic fight scenes. It was amazing to learn how a skilled and non-skilled person could use them and make it a believable not only for me, but my readers. I immediately reread what I thought was my best fighting scene and found so many flaws and best of all was following the five step blueprint outlined in the book helped me improve my fight scenes. Now I am not ...more
Emma Meade
Feb 06, 2013 Emma Meade rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing-tips
I thought this was excellent. I actually took notes with a pen as I read through this. Now, only to put Rayne's advice into my own work :)
This book in itself is a little creepy. The introduction describing what certain sensations (panic, dread, etc) do to the body, I got a little spooked. This one might not be as helpful in all it says as the previous one was for me, but I will use some of what's in it for sure with my writing. Some of the segments though went a little too far for me in her explaining what to include in certain stories to induce horror. I could have lived without those particular images in my mind, though I'm sure ...more
Aug 22, 2015 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first thing I need to say is that I would have rated this book higher if I hadn't read "Writing Dark Stories" by the same author. Honestly, I found that a majority of the content between the two books overlapped, so I felt like I wasn't reading about much that was new. There was some new content that different from Dark Stories though, which I found to be helpful. I especially found the tips on how to evoke what kinds of scariness (horror, terror, shock, foreboding etc) to be interesting. I ...more
Mar 27, 2013 Leeanna rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-review, e-book
If you’ve been by my blog before, you may have seen some of my posts on writing. Writing is something very important to me, and I hope to publish my own work someday. So when I got an email about the tour for WRITING SCARY SCENES, I was curious to read it and see if I could pick up any useful tips.

Although the book is intended to help writers work on scary stuff, many of the tips and tricks within can be applied to any type of scene or genre. In fact, the author includes advice on how you can us
Heather Wright
Jul 12, 2012 Heather Wright rated it it was amazing
Rayne Hall begins her book with these words:

"I love scaring readers. Don't you?

"This book will teach you practical tricks for turning up the suspense. Make your readers' hearts hammer with terror, their breaths quicken with excitement and their skins tingle with goosebumps of delicious fright."

Hall keeps her promise. Her book is broken down into succinct chapters that give you all the tools you need to create scary scenes. And the tools are concrete. She shows you the words you can use and the
Stephanie Dagg
Feb 17, 2013 Stephanie Dagg rated it really liked it
This is a very useful writer's guide, packed with hints and tips to make your own horror writing better. Rayne Hall has a very engaging, easy style and you feel like you're at a very chatty lecture, where you're learning whilst being thoroughly entertained. The introduction sets the tone where the author honestly tells us that she never 'meant to become a horror author'. After trying various genres however, she found that this was the one that both best suited her and for which there seemed to b ...more
Madeline Dyer
Feb 18, 2013 Madeline Dyer rated it really liked it
Rayne Hall kindly sent me a free copy of this ebook, in exchange for an honest review. I read this guide alongside editing one of my own novels, and found it very useful in helping me ‘big up’ the fear factor.

As the title suggests, this book is all about writing scary scenes and could serve as a valuable guide for many writers. Split into twenty-six chapters, (all of which cover different aspects of fear, scene-setting, techniques and devices), it’s really easy to find the information that you’r
Thomm Quackenbush
Jan 18, 2013 Thomm Quackenbush rated it liked it
(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
Linda Skinner
Nov 24, 2013 Linda Skinner rated it it was amazing
Writing Scary Scenes by Rayne Hall

I remember sitting on the floor in front of my great Uncle Cash with my siblings and cousins. Uncle Cash was a master story teller of terror. His voice reverberated the suspense. I was captivated with the smells, sights and sounds of the story. So entranced and engrossed in the story with the lights out and on a stormy night that we would sit closer to each other holding hands shivering with fear. Then the climax he would shout BOO! And we would all scream terri
Michele Cacano
Jan 26, 2016 Michele Cacano rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-on-writing
If for nothing else, learning about euphonics was worth the cover price!

The book is full of clear, concise tips for eliciting specific responses from readers. These techniques are even tailored to different genres and audiences.

Bonus: three short stories included. "Through the Tunnel" was right up my alley!
Celia Breslin
Aug 21, 2012 Celia Breslin rated it it was amazing
Writing Scary Scenes is another excellent offering from author, teacher, and master craftswoman Rayne Hall. Recommended for writers of many genres (romance, mystery, suspense, horror), this concise reference book covers every possible aspect for creating skin crawling, heart racing moments in your story. Numerous examples are included to spark the writer’s imagination. Rayne also supplies an extensive list of euphonics - words for every mood or situation (fear, apprehension, fights, foreboding, ...more
Shah Wharton
Oct 04, 2014 Shah Wharton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing
Superb writing craft book from Rayne Hall. One thing I will say, if you buy this, you might not need 'Writing Dark Stories' as much of the tips and tricks overlap between the two books. I have both though, and didn't mind the repeat of information one bit, as there were extras. Up to you.
Winter Bayne
May 28, 2014 Winter Bayne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014, kindle, on-writing
I'm working on a horror short story and plan on using the techniques and processes discussed in this book.

Rayne shows with details, is to the point, and easy to read. It was a quick book to get through. I am sure I'll be referencing it more in the future.
Steven Atwood
May 08, 2014 Steven Atwood rated it it was amazing
Great Resource

The lessons shown in this book gave me some great tools which greatly improved my novel. I just want to say thank you for your insight.
Feb 19, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it
I thought this was a great little book packed full of ideas to help build suspense and create tension. It is easy to understand and is divided out in such a way that it is easy to access what you need.

One thing I would like to say is that, unlike the author, I do believe that the beginning writer can benefit from reading this book. I didn't find anything in particular that was difficult to understand and this is thanks to the fact that Hall explains things in such a clear way.

I'm very glad I bou
Will Hogarth
Mar 11, 2014 Will Hogarth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing-craft
A short book which contains a lot of information. One for the reference shelf of any writer, no mater what their genre.
Naomi Bellina
Jul 15, 2012 Naomi Bellina rated it it was amazing
In Writing Scary Scenes, Rayne Hall draws from her vast experience, and shares tips and pointers for anyone who wants to write better fiction. You don't have to write horror or suspense novels to receive benefit from this book. Most authors will have some type of scary scene to write, and this is the perfect place to find guidelines. Ms. Hall's information is clear, concise and to the point. She gives solid, creative examples in every chapter. I used her tips on doors and doorways immediately fo ...more
Brighid O'Sullivan
Dec 11, 2014 Brighid O'Sullivan rated it it was amazing
Good suggestions for writing in this genre. Was worth the book.
Nov 23, 2014 Caron rated it really liked it
This book will go in my tool box. It was useful and informative.
Oana Birtea
Jun 02, 2015 Oana Birtea rated it really liked it
A great read. Not as complete as i hoped it would be.
Jen McConnel
Feb 25, 2013 Jen McConnel rated it really liked it
This handy writing resource will be a hit with writers of all genres. With a plethora of suggestions and examples, Writing Scary Scenes will help you add tension to your manuscript. How can you employ film-making techniques to raise the stakes? How will you raise your reader's pulse just enough to be powerful? These questions and more are answered in this great book. No matter what genre you write, you will benefit from Writing Scary Scenes.
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Rayne Hall writes fantasy and horror fiction, some of it quirky, most of it dark. She is the author of over sixty books in different genres and under different pen names, published by twelve publishers in six countries, translated into several languages. Her short stories have been published in magazines, e-zines and anthologies.

After living in Germany, China, Mongolia and Nepal, she has settled i
More about Rayne Hall...

Other Books in the Series

Writer's Craft (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • Writing Fight Scenes
  • Why Does My Book Not Sell? 20 Simple Fixes (Writer's Craft)
  • Writing About Villains
  • The Word-Loss Diet
  • Writing Short Stories to Promote Your Novels (Writer's Craft)
  • Writer's Craft Power Pack 1: 5-Book Bundle
  • Writing about Magic
  • Twitter for Writers (Writer's Craft)
  • Writing Dark Stories (Writer's Craft)
  • Writing Vivid Settings: Professional Techniques for Fiction Authors (Writer's Craft Book 10)

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