Wednesday, March 6, 2013

"Writing Scary Scenes" by Rayne Hall {Guest Post, Review & Giveaway}


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 reader feel the character's fear. It includes techniques for manipulating the readers' subconscious and creating powerful emotional effects.

Use this book to write a new scene, or to add tension and excitement to a draft.

You will learn tricks of the trade for "black moment" and "climax" scenes, describing monsters and villains, writing harrowing captivity sections and breathtaking escapes, as well as how to make sure that your hero doesn't come across as a wimp... and much more.

This book is recommended for writers of all genres, especially thriller, horror, paranormal romance and urban fantasy.

Guest Post by Rayne Hall:


Tension is good. It makes the reader turn the pages. However,  constant high tension soon gets dull. The readers can't sustain continuous scared excitement, and after a while, instead of roused, they become bored.

It's like the waves on a stormy sea: the peaks are only high because of the troughs between them. If there were only continuous peaks without any troughs, the sea would be flat.

Your job as writer is to create not just the peaks, but the troughs which make the peaks look high.

Allow your protagonist to relax and get her breath back before throwing her into the next frightening experience experience. During this brief relaxation of the tension, your reader's heartbeat returns to normal - so it can accelerate again.

If you're writing a horror, thriller, paranormal or fantasy novel, some of the tension stems from the reader fearing for the main character's safety. Here's what the scary part of your story might look like if it consisted only of peaks, and how a skilled writer might handle it by alternating peaks and troughs.

Peaks-only version

The heroine gets tortured by the villain. (peak)
She escapes by scaling the dungeon walls. (peak)
As soon as she's outside, she gets pursued by a charging bull. (peak)
To get away from the bull, she crawls into a narrow cave where she is immediately attacked by a snake. (peak)

This is too much relentless scare. By the time the heroine faces the snake, the reader scarcely cares anymore.

Peaks & troughs version

The heroine gets tortured by the villain. (peak)
Finally, he retires for the night, and the pain ceases. (trough)
She escapes by scaling the dungeon walls. (peak)
Outside, there's bright light, clean air, the scents of meadow flowers. (trough)
A bull comes charging. (peak)
To escape from the bull, she crawls into a narrow cave. The bull can't get in. She catches her breath and bandages her wounds and lies down to get some much-needed sleep. (trough)
A hiss alerts her to the presence of a dangerous snake. (peak)

The troughs don't have to be long. One paragraph is often enough. You can insert a short trough in the middle of a scary scene, or as a transition between two scary scenes. At other times, you may want to insert a whole “trough” scene between two “peak” scenes. For example, in the climax of a thriller, you can insert a non-scary scene, perhaps a tender love scene, between two terrifying sections.

Don't overdo the troughs. If they are too long, or if there are many of them, they can make your writing boring. Don't allow your reader to become too relaxed. Use the troughs sparingly and keep them short.


If you're a writer and want to discuss this technique, please leave a comment. I'll be around for a weak and will reply. I love answering questions.

About the Author, Rayne Hall:

Rayne Hall has published more than forty books under different pen names with different publishers in different genres, mostly fantasy, horror and non-fiction. Recent books include Storm Dancer (dark epic fantasy novel), Six Historical Tales Vol 1, Six Scary Tales Vol 1, 2 and 3 (mild horror stories), Six Historical Tales (short stories), Six Quirky Tales (humorous fantasy stories), Writing Fight Scenes and Writing Scary Scenes (instructions for authors).

She holds a college degree in publishing management and a masters degree in creative writing. Currently, she edits the Ten Tales series of multi-author short story anthologies: Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires, Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts, Scared: Ten Tales of Horror, Cutlass: Ten Tales of Pirates, Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft, Spells: Ten Tales of Magic, Undead: Ten Tales of Zombies and more.

Learn more about Rayne and her books on:

Purchase "Writing Scary Scenes" on:


Rayne pens "Writing Scary Scenes" in an adventurous plot that takes a writer through a "course" that will help them improve their writing. A great read filled with practical suggestions and examples that will help anyone. Highly recommended for all aspiring and accomplished writers.

I give "Writing Scary Scenes" a 5 star rating.


Short story collection of Six Scary Tales by Rayne Hall.

Reading Addiction Blog Tours

 * Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. My Cozie Corner is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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