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Writing Dark Stories: How to Write Horror and Other Disturbing Short Stories

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Learn to haunt your readers with powerful, chilling tales. Make their spines tingle with anticipation and their skins crawl with delicious fear. Disturb their world-view and invite them to look into the dark corners of their own souls. This book gives you a wealth of tools and techniques for writing great short stories. It is part of the acclaimed Writer's Craft series. TABL Learn to haunt your readers with powerful, chilling tales. Make their spines tingle with anticipation and their skins crawl with delicious fear. Disturb their world-view and invite them to look into the dark corners of their own souls. This book gives you a wealth of tools and techniques for writing great short stories. It is part of the acclaimed Writer's Craft series. TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction 1. FEED YOUR FICTION WITH YOUR FEARS Places. Weird Shudders. Phobias. Childhood Fears. Dreams. Human Attitudes. Ordinary Things. Assignment. 2. WHY THE TITLE IS A STRONG START Gathering Ideas. Assignment. 3. WRITING BY THE SEAT OF YOUR PANTS Now Write. Prompts. The Freewriting Experience. Assignment. 4. FIFTEEN MASTER PLOTS Plot Ideas You Can Use. Assignment. 5. DARK FICTION AND HORROR GENRES Horror. Splatterpunk. Extreme Horror. Psychological Horror. Dystopian. Lovecraftian. Thriller. Mystery. Dark Fiction. Supernatural. Paranormal. Paranormal Romance. Dark Fantasy. Urban Fantasy. Gothic. Erotic Horror. Horror Comedy. Romantic Suspense. Steampunk. Ghost Stories. Slipstream. Speculative Fiction. Weird Fiction. Flash Fiction. Slice-of-Life. Cross-Genre. Collection. Anthology. Assignment. 6.  POINT OF VIEW Deep PoV Techniques. Serial Point of View. Omniscient Point of View. Other Point of View Styles. Assignment. 7. MANAGING TENSION Goal. Raising the Stakes. Conflicts Among Characters. Peaks and Troughs. Assignment. 8. BUILDING SUSPENSE Pose a Question. The Ticking Clock. Pacing. The Door Opens. Assignment. 9. HOW TO SCARE YOUR READERS Darkness. Sounds. Chill. Isolation. Meet the Monster. Get Visceral. The Gory Bits. Assignment. 10. CREEPY LOCATIONS Select the Setting. Inspiring Pictures. How to Describe the Setting. Practical Research. Setting Research Checklist. Assignment. 11. MAKE THE MOST OF THE WEATHER Create Atmosphere. Deepen the PoV. Make it Difficult for the Characters. Strained Tempers. Mood and Foreboding. Beware the Pathetic Fallacy. Collecting Descriptions. Assignment. 12. HOW TO OPEN YOUR STORY Opening with Setting Description. Opening with Dialogue. Opening While All Seems Well with the World. Assignment. 13. HOW TO END YOUR STORY Endings to Avoid. Seven Possible Endings. Leave Questions in the Reader’s Mind. Assignment. 14. VILLAINS AND MONSTERS Human Villains: Clichés to Avoid. Motivation. Depth. Describing the Villain. Monsters: Reveal it Bit by Bit. Keep it Plausible. Assignment. 15. GHOST STORIES Plot and Backstory. Setting and Mood. Characters and Point of View. Assignment. 16. VAMPIRES, WEREWOLVES, ZOMBIES Vampires: Sparkling Versus Traditional. Vampire Tropes. Fiction Ideas. Werewolves: Werewolf Tropes. Questions to Consider. Zombies: How Zombies are Made. Zombie Tropes. Fiction Ideas. Beware the Bite-Hiders. Assignment. 17. RELIGIOUS HORROR Horror in Holy Books. Faith Versus Fear. Religious Historical Horror. Unbelievers Meet Scary Gods. Stories Presenting Religion as Evil. Writing About Other Faiths. Controversy. Assignment. 18. Why Do People Read Horror Fiction? Seven Psychological Reasons. Assignment. 19. MARKETING AND PUBLICATION Traditional Publishing. Markets. Rights. Payment. Self-Publishing. Trends. Assignments. 20. SAMPLE STORIES WITH COMMENTS Burning. Seagulls. Only A Fool. DEAR READER This book uses British English.


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Learn to haunt your readers with powerful, chilling tales. Make their spines tingle with anticipation and their skins crawl with delicious fear. Disturb their world-view and invite them to look into the dark corners of their own souls. This book gives you a wealth of tools and techniques for writing great short stories. It is part of the acclaimed Writer's Craft series. TABL Learn to haunt your readers with powerful, chilling tales. Make their spines tingle with anticipation and their skins crawl with delicious fear. Disturb their world-view and invite them to look into the dark corners of their own souls. This book gives you a wealth of tools and techniques for writing great short stories. It is part of the acclaimed Writer's Craft series. TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction 1. FEED YOUR FICTION WITH YOUR FEARS Places. Weird Shudders. Phobias. Childhood Fears. Dreams. Human Attitudes. Ordinary Things. Assignment. 2. WHY THE TITLE IS A STRONG START Gathering Ideas. Assignment. 3. WRITING BY THE SEAT OF YOUR PANTS Now Write. Prompts. The Freewriting Experience. Assignment. 4. FIFTEEN MASTER PLOTS Plot Ideas You Can Use. Assignment. 5. DARK FICTION AND HORROR GENRES Horror. Splatterpunk. Extreme Horror. Psychological Horror. Dystopian. Lovecraftian. Thriller. Mystery. Dark Fiction. Supernatural. Paranormal. Paranormal Romance. Dark Fantasy. Urban Fantasy. Gothic. Erotic Horror. Horror Comedy. Romantic Suspense. Steampunk. Ghost Stories. Slipstream. Speculative Fiction. Weird Fiction. Flash Fiction. Slice-of-Life. Cross-Genre. Collection. Anthology. Assignment. 6.  POINT OF VIEW Deep PoV Techniques. Serial Point of View. Omniscient Point of View. Other Point of View Styles. Assignment. 7. MANAGING TENSION Goal. Raising the Stakes. Conflicts Among Characters. Peaks and Troughs. Assignment. 8. BUILDING SUSPENSE Pose a Question. The Ticking Clock. Pacing. The Door Opens. Assignment. 9. HOW TO SCARE YOUR READERS Darkness. Sounds. Chill. Isolation. Meet the Monster. Get Visceral. The Gory Bits. Assignment. 10. CREEPY LOCATIONS Select the Setting. Inspiring Pictures. How to Describe the Setting. Practical Research. Setting Research Checklist. Assignment. 11. MAKE THE MOST OF THE WEATHER Create Atmosphere. Deepen the PoV. Make it Difficult for the Characters. Strained Tempers. Mood and Foreboding. Beware the Pathetic Fallacy. Collecting Descriptions. Assignment. 12. HOW TO OPEN YOUR STORY Opening with Setting Description. Opening with Dialogue. Opening While All Seems Well with the World. Assignment. 13. HOW TO END YOUR STORY Endings to Avoid. Seven Possible Endings. Leave Questions in the Reader’s Mind. Assignment. 14. VILLAINS AND MONSTERS Human Villains: Clichés to Avoid. Motivation. Depth. Describing the Villain. Monsters: Reveal it Bit by Bit. Keep it Plausible. Assignment. 15. GHOST STORIES Plot and Backstory. Setting and Mood. Characters and Point of View. Assignment. 16. VAMPIRES, WEREWOLVES, ZOMBIES Vampires: Sparkling Versus Traditional. Vampire Tropes. Fiction Ideas. Werewolves: Werewolf Tropes. Questions to Consider. Zombies: How Zombies are Made. Zombie Tropes. Fiction Ideas. Beware the Bite-Hiders. Assignment. 17. RELIGIOUS HORROR Horror in Holy Books. Faith Versus Fear. Religious Historical Horror. Unbelievers Meet Scary Gods. Stories Presenting Religion as Evil. Writing About Other Faiths. Controversy. Assignment. 18. Why Do People Read Horror Fiction? Seven Psychological Reasons. Assignment. 19. MARKETING AND PUBLICATION Traditional Publishing. Markets. Rights. Payment. Self-Publishing. Trends. Assignments. 20. SAMPLE STORIES WITH COMMENTS Burning. Seagulls. Only A Fool. DEAR READER This book uses British English.

30 review for Writing Dark Stories: How to Write Horror and Other Disturbing Short Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    Maxine (Booklover Catlady)

    This is a fantastic resource for anyone who writes or is aspiring to write in the dark fiction and horror genres. The book explains brilliantly all the many different sub-genres of horror and dark fiction, through to thrillers and suspense. It's focus is on short stories and I gobbled up every word. Rayne covers everything from writing from different POV's through to how to build tension and suspense and the difference between the two. She teaches how to use clever descriptive wording to create y This is a fantastic resource for anyone who writes or is aspiring to write in the dark fiction and horror genres. The book explains brilliantly all the many different sub-genres of horror and dark fiction, through to thrillers and suspense. It's focus is on short stories and I gobbled up every word. Rayne covers everything from writing from different POV's through to how to build tension and suspense and the difference between the two. She teaches how to use clever descriptive wording to create your environment, characters and mood. It's an awful lot of good stuff packed into one book. We learn what not to do, mistakes to avoid like the fact that "too much gore becomes a bore" when it's not balanced out. As a writer working on my first book of dark fiction/horror short stories plus submitting to be considered for anthologies I found this book immensely helpful and will be referring to it over and over again. Even authors who have written many books should never say never to learning something new and they may just do that from this well written book. I liked the exercises given to do at the end of each section and the many tips on note taking and drawing on real life fears, places and moments. Very inspiring! A few of Rayne's own dark short stories feature at the end of the book. I particularly loved the one about the seagulls. A great tension builder that was creepy to the end. I highly recommend this book to any of my horror/dark fiction (any genre) writing friends as well as those eager to begin writing in this exciting genre. I'll be applying Rayne's knowledge to my stories I'm currently writing. A 5 star read and well worth purchasing. To follow my reviews on Facebook: www.facebook.com/BookloverCatlady And Twitter @promotethatbook www.twitter.com/promotethatbook

  2. 4 out of 5

    Katia M. Davis

    Designed for a beginner writer, this book has plenty of information to help you master the art of the dark story. It begins with definitions and continues throughout relevent topics pertinent to dark writing. There are also exercises at the end of each chapter to help you practice the guidelines and ideas talked about. There is a section in the back about what to do about publishing your stories through the traditional route and also self-publishing. As a bonus there are a few of the author's sh Designed for a beginner writer, this book has plenty of information to help you master the art of the dark story. It begins with definitions and continues throughout relevent topics pertinent to dark writing. There are also exercises at the end of each chapter to help you practice the guidelines and ideas talked about. There is a section in the back about what to do about publishing your stories through the traditional route and also self-publishing. As a bonus there are a few of the author's short stories thrown in to let you know they know what they are doing.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Shelley Wilson

    Writing Dark Stories is aimed at short story writers. However, I found all the tips easy to transfer to a full-length novel. Rayne covers what ‘dark’ stories mean, as well as including an outline about the different genres within this writing community. There is a wonderful breakdown of chapters concentrating on specific villains, from the human variety right through to vampires, monsters, and even ghosts. As with all of Rayne’s how-to books, she includes assignments throughout to test your knowl Writing Dark Stories is aimed at short story writers. However, I found all the tips easy to transfer to a full-length novel. Rayne covers what ‘dark’ stories mean, as well as including an outline about the different genres within this writing community. There is a wonderful breakdown of chapters concentrating on specific villains, from the human variety right through to vampires, monsters, and even ghosts. As with all of Rayne’s how-to books, she includes assignments throughout to test your knowledge. She uses her own short stories as an example so you can see how to use these new found writing skills. As a fantasy writer, I found this book to be incredibly helpful, not just for evolving my writing skills, but for the abundance of ideas, I got from reading it. My favourite chapter was about feeding your fiction with your fears, a practical way to use what frightens you and build your stories around this. Although I have read a few books on publication and sales, I found the marketing section in this book to be beneficial – it never hurts to remind yourself how to market your beloved book, or indeed, why you wrote it in the first place. “Write only what excites you, or your fiction will lack power and sincerity” Rayne Hall. As always, I made loads of notes, and brainstormed far too many ideas that I’m sure I’ll never have time to write! Another winning book from Rayne Hall.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Myna

    As a beginner in writing dark fiction and horror stories (I used to write in other genres before), I was looking for a good book that helps me to improve my writing skills and introduces me to that genre. With „Writing Dark Stories“ of Rayne Hall's „Writer's Craft“ series, I found that book I was looking for. It's perfect for people like me who are new to that genre and need some good tips and advice. In her book Rayne Hall helps the reader to improve their writing skills, creating a dark atmosphe As a beginner in writing dark fiction and horror stories (I used to write in other genres before), I was looking for a good book that helps me to improve my writing skills and introduces me to that genre. With „Writing Dark Stories“ of Rayne Hall's „Writer's Craft“ series, I found that book I was looking for. It's perfect for people like me who are new to that genre and need some good tips and advice. In her book Rayne Hall helps the reader to improve their writing skills, creating a dark atmosphere, tension and suspense. She shares several master plots, gives tips on how to open and end the story and how to find the right point of view. My favourite chapters were Chapter 5 „Dark Fiction and Horror Genres“ (a great overview!), 16 „Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies“ and 19 „Marketing and Publication“. In the end of the book, Rayne Hall shares several of her own scary stories, which I really enjoyed (especially „Seagulls“, as I could relate to the protagonist's fear). All in all, I highly recommend the book to all people who recently started dark stories. It's really helpful and I am curious to read more of Rayne Hall's works and „Writer's Craft“ books.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Christiana

    I have been fortunate to take many of Rayne Hall's classes on writing scary scenes, short stories, etc., but this book focuses on darker short fiction. At the end of each chapter there is a quick assignment to help you put to use the information that was presented in that chapter. It's a great exercise. I really enjoyed the chapters on ghosts, vampires, werewolves and religious horror. While the classes touched on making scenes suspenseful, these chapters had much more information the specifics of I have been fortunate to take many of Rayne Hall's classes on writing scary scenes, short stories, etc., but this book focuses on darker short fiction. At the end of each chapter there is a quick assignment to help you put to use the information that was presented in that chapter. It's a great exercise. I really enjoyed the chapters on ghosts, vampires, werewolves and religious horror. While the classes touched on making scenes suspenseful, these chapters had much more information the specifics of each supernatural and/or biblical creatures and settings. There are chapters on POV, creating atmosphere, tension, how to scare your readers and so much more. At the end, Rayne shares three of her short dark fictions stories. This is a great tool for writers with experience or just beginning in the dark fiction genre. If you can't be in one of Rayne's classes, this is the next best thing.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    While some of the book comes off as filler (there are lengthy passages on what a vampire/werewolf/zombie is, with lists of their traits), its strength lies in its ability to help generate stories of your own by exploring what sorts of things are scary to you. Great for the beginner, without being insulting. Any creative person reading this will likely have a slew of ideas by the time they come to the end. I cringed a little when I saw that the last chunk of the book is devoted to the writer's ow While some of the book comes off as filler (there are lengthy passages on what a vampire/werewolf/zombie is, with lists of their traits), its strength lies in its ability to help generate stories of your own by exploring what sorts of things are scary to you. Great for the beginner, without being insulting. Any creative person reading this will likely have a slew of ideas by the time they come to the end. I cringed a little when I saw that the last chunk of the book is devoted to the writer's own stories, but the pieces really do a fine job of illustrating the concepts introduced in the book. (I was worried they were just there as self-promotion.)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Shelley Stanaway

    This book, I read, not because I might write a dark story in the future but it was a Christmas gift from last year (2017). I did not study it as I have the other books I have read of Ms. Hall's and truthfully did not think I would take much away. I took away more about character development, especially that of the antagonist than I have from any other book I have read on the topic. While this is an excellent book for those who write dark fiction, it is also one for any fiction writer who wishes t This book, I read, not because I might write a dark story in the future but it was a Christmas gift from last year (2017). I did not study it as I have the other books I have read of Ms. Hall's and truthfully did not think I would take much away. I took away more about character development, especially that of the antagonist than I have from any other book I have read on the topic. While this is an excellent book for those who write dark fiction, it is also one for any fiction writer who wishes to make their antagonist both stand out and be reviled yet not the over-the-top evil monster that sometimes plagues books. Thank you, Ms. Hall.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Neuravinci

    Didn’t provide the depth that I wanted but at least gave me foundational elements to think about. I realize this book and others in the series are more about giving basic ideas and fermenting further thought on the reader’s end, so I gave this book 3 stars because it gave just enough info to get the brain juices flowing. If you know nothing about writing, this book is great. If you’ve read other writing books and have written, look elsewhere for more depth.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    Good book. I skipped the part about POV cause I had just read a book about that. The lists were a bit too much formulaic (never thought I'd be saying that word as a con) but the rest of the book was really good. It even gave me some inspiration and a few good tips for the story I'm writing. Not recommended if it's the first book on writing you ever read, but the author already warns you about that.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Aleksandar Ovnarski

    Coming from the author's highly recommended "Writing fighting scenes" and "Writing vivid dialogue", this little manual introduces techniques from the horror genre, as well as advice and examples to help you develop a better grasp on the genre beyond simple tropes and conventions. If you've done your homework you might already know a lot of this material, but you can benefit from having the topic discussed in a condensed manner, like a manual, as this book does.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Katy-Anne Binstead

    Unleashed a Wild Beast In my own work I write about the intersection of the monstrous and the sacred. I had some story ideas but was a little restless and wanted some inspiration and bought this book. It unleashed a wild beast. The exercises really helped me to actually flesh out many of the ideas that had already been gathering in my head and now I have lists for my fiction and poetry and creative nonfiction and when I sit down to free write, I have direction.

  12. 5 out of 5

    L.J. Stephens

    Great tips. I got this through kindle unlimited, and glad I did. Great tips in this book. It'll help your outlining and brainstorming.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Charles Chettiar

    good for lists and for steps

  14. 5 out of 5

    Peggy Miller

    Into the dark! This a great book, full of on point information and tips to a writing all types of dark and horror stories. It is good to be knowledgeable about this type of novels.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Matthew William

    I really enjoyed this book. I am getting into writing and this book has offered some really great tips and advice. I plan to use it to craft stories that are exciting and energetic.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Luis

    Lots of useful information. The book didn't disappoint and I am glad I found it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ruby Tobor-vasquez

    I’m not even sure where to begin with Writing Dark Stories by Rayne Hall… It was incredible! Hall dd an excellent job explaining all the different dark genres and sub-genres, as well as the different elements of a good dark story. She reveals how to hook your reader with a great opening and keep them interested by building suspense and tension. She discusses various methods of building tension between characters, and the best ways to write and describe a villain or monster. This book is so in-de I’m not even sure where to begin with Writing Dark Stories by Rayne Hall… It was incredible! Hall dd an excellent job explaining all the different dark genres and sub-genres, as well as the different elements of a good dark story. She reveals how to hook your reader with a great opening and keep them interested by building suspense and tension. She discusses various methods of building tension between characters, and the best ways to write and describe a villain or monster. This book is so in-depth, with activities at the end of each chapter that make you think and get your creative juices flowing. I have been working on a suspense thriller novel for a while, but I keep getting stuck. I know what I want my book to be about„ I know my characters, I know my ending— but developing the story, the dialog etc has not been my strong suit. I am so glad I read this book because now I have some starting point/ideas to build on. There’s actually a chapter in Writing Dark Stories called “Fifteen Master Plots” and I’m going to play around with a few of them, combining and altering until I find something that works. Hall also was kind enough to include a chapter on marketing and publication which gives advice on how to submit your work to traditional publications and the responsibilities that come along with the decision to self-publish. She even includes three of her short stories at the end of the book as examples. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking to work on their writing skills or simply give dark writing a try. I’ll definitely be reading more of her Writer’s Craft series.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    Anyone who enjoys writing fiction, as well as anyone who likes writing in general, will be able find something in this book that is helpful. Even for those who don’t usually write in the dark story genres, there are hints to help your story writing be sharper and more interesting. For a moment, think about what readers want. Readers like their feelings to be aroused. Touch the reader’s senses and keep in mind that suspense keeps them reading. Make a story that they cannot put down, one that will Anyone who enjoys writing fiction, as well as anyone who likes writing in general, will be able find something in this book that is helpful. Even for those who don’t usually write in the dark story genres, there are hints to help your story writing be sharper and more interesting. For a moment, think about what readers want. Readers like their feelings to be aroused. Touch the reader’s senses and keep in mind that suspense keeps them reading. Make a story that they cannot put down, one that will be read until the end, definitely not a story that the reader will get bored with and abandon. The book contains simple advice and writing prompts for anyone wishing to write in the dark story genres. This book is especially helpful for someone starting out or someone who normally does other types of writing. The book is well organized with helpful master plot ideas, tips to build tension and suspense, and marketing tips. I found it useful, since I usually don’t write suspenseful stories or utilize the senses as much as I should. I found a wealth of information and felt inspired by the time I was done reading this book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    J.E. Feldman

    First of all, amazing. I haven't read very many writing how-to books because I prefer fumbling my way around to find my own techniques, but this book has really given me a perfect insight into how to write horror stories. This book helped me to write short story "Suicide Scheme" that will be featured in the "Shadows of the Mind" anthology coming this October. Rayne's book made me sit down and actually think about what needs to go into a horror story. It also helped me to create the best experien First of all, amazing. I haven't read very many writing how-to books because I prefer fumbling my way around to find my own techniques, but this book has really given me a perfect insight into how to write horror stories. This book helped me to write short story "Suicide Scheme" that will be featured in the "Shadows of the Mind" anthology coming this October. Rayne's book made me sit down and actually think about what needs to go into a horror story. It also helped me to create the best experience for my readers. The best part is she also has you covered for when you start to hit a wall while writing. She has ways to keep the inspiration flowing so you get that story out and even has advice for marketing the story! She has provided examples of her work at the end to further show that she knows what she's doing. I recommend this book to everyone, even if they aren't writing a book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shah Wharton

    I have a few of Rayne Hall's writing craft books and this is another one packed full of helpful insights gathered during her years of successful authorship. I'll continue buying this series, it hasn't failed me yet. One thing I do wish is that she'd maybe catalogue them all together, or make a few collections and put them out in print. I prefer to use these books as reference material, to pick up as and when, and go to the right page. I can't do that anywhere near as efficiently with my Kindle ( I have a few of Rayne Hall's writing craft books and this is another one packed full of helpful insights gathered during her years of successful authorship. I'll continue buying this series, it hasn't failed me yet. One thing I do wish is that she'd maybe catalogue them all together, or make a few collections and put them out in print. I prefer to use these books as reference material, to pick up as and when, and go to the right page. I can't do that anywhere near as efficiently with my Kindle (as much as I love it for general reading). As a bonus, you get a few shorts thrown in at the back of the book, which are not only entertaining, but illustrate the ideas and strategies she's outlined in the previous chapters.

  21. 5 out of 5

    flightyinagoodway

    Amazing I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. I haven't even finished it yet, but I love it and just had to write the review now! This book is so amazing and helpful, I've already started writing my first dark story thanks to this author. :) I write as a hobby on Wattpad and I write anything from fan fiction to historical romance and fantasy books. So a dark story is pretty new to me, now I want to buy all of her books! I can't wait to finish this book and comp Amazing I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. I haven't even finished it yet, but I love it and just had to write the review now! This book is so amazing and helpful, I've already started writing my first dark story thanks to this author. :) I write as a hobby on Wattpad and I write anything from fan fiction to historical romance and fantasy books. So a dark story is pretty new to me, now I want to buy all of her books! I can't wait to finish this book and complete my dark story. My username on wattpad is flightyinagoodway if you want to check out my story when I finish it. :) :) :) :) :)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Leigh

    I've read a lot of books on creative writing and many seemed pretentious, but not this book. It provides simple directives to help a writer pull what is inside on to the printed page. I really liked that the book was written for a broad audience. It has information that can help both old and new writers hone their craft. Some information provided may seem like overkill for experienced writers, but it has a lot of information that will benefit novice writers. My personal favorite part of the book I've read a lot of books on creative writing and many seemed pretentious, but not this book. It provides simple directives to help a writer pull what is inside on to the printed page. I really liked that the book was written for a broad audience. It has information that can help both old and new writers hone their craft. Some information provided may seem like overkill for experienced writers, but it has a lot of information that will benefit novice writers. My personal favorite part of the book is the first section about fears and phobias, as fear is a staple in the horror genre.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Michele Cacano

    Well-written craft guide. Hall lays out information in an easy-to-digest yet thought-provoking manner. Starting with what constitutes the horror genre, and all its variations and subgenres, to how to sell and market your work, this book is thorough as well as user-friendly. In-between, Hall gives many prompts and useful exercises. Several examples are given for each technique, and four complete short stories follow the guided chapters, all of which are both useful as models and entertaining.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    This little inexpensive book gave me one of the best pieces of advice I ever got about writing. Believe me, the 99 cents I spent on this little ebook gave me more good ideas than books I've spent fifteen or twenty bucks on. If I gave away the best advice it wouldn't be fair to the author. But believe me, I've come up with a dozen ideas after reading her book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Edmund de Wight

    Good read, a few things I hadn't thought of before. if you've been writing dark fiction for a while, it's more of a refresher - but hey, everyone needs a little reminder that they don't know everything. If you're just starting out or wondering how to improve your horror/dark fiction this is a good guide.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Michael Elliott

    A Must Have for Horror Wriiters As a newly published horror writer I found her advice and tips invaluable,the inclusion of some of headshot stories as examples not only reinforces the point but also makes for great reading. I will definitely be purchasing the rest of her series.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Karla

    One of the best writing books I have ever read. Whether you are into horror, dark fiction, or not you can find some great advice here. I refer to it almost daily to help boost my creativity and get the brain juices flowing. I can't wait to read other books in the series.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Leticia

    This book has lots of direct, goal oriented and practical tips on writing dark stories. I found it very helpful and would recommend it even if you don't directly write horror, since fear and suspense can add a thrill to most stories.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Christine Copper

    I enjoyed reading this one, just like all her other books. Found plenty of good info to help me with my next book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    As a beginning writer, I found his book influential. Look for some books from me on the future! I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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