Category Archives: Seminars

30 Books by Bestseller Author Rayne Hall

… and what you can learn from her.

Rayne Hall is the author of thirty books in different genres (mostly horror, fantasy and non-fiction) and under different pen names, published by twelve publishers in several countries and languages (mostly English, German, Polish and Chinese).  Her short stories have been published in many magazines, e-zines and anthologies.

Rayne holds a college degree in publishing management as well as a Masters degree in creative writing.  Over three decades, she has worked in the publishing industry as a trainee, investigative journalist, feature writer, magazine editor, production editor, page designer, concept editor for non-fiction book series, anthology editor, editorial consultant and more.

Currently, she tries to regain the rights to her out-of-print books so she can update them and publish them as e-books.  After living in Germany, China, Mongolia and Nepal, she has settled in south east England where she lives in a dilapidated seaside town of former Regency and Victorian grandeur.

Outside publishing, she has worked as a museum guide, apple picker, tarot reader, adult education teacher, trade fair hostess, translator and bellydancer.  Many of these experiences have provided fodder for fiction: several of Rayne’s stories feature bellydancers. Many of Rayne Hall’s stories explore the individuals’ responsibility for their choices, and the dark side of the human psyche. Her horror tales are psychological, creepy and suspenseful rather than gory.

She edits a series of themed multi-author short story anthologies (Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts, Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires, Cutlass: Ten Tales of Pirates, Scared: Ten Tales of Horror etc). For a list of books currently published under the Rayne Hall pen name, go to Amazon:

She judges writing contests (mostly for short stories, horror or fantasy fiction), coaches authors and teaches online classes for writers among others:

  • ‘Writing Fight Scenes’

  • ‘Writing Scary Scenes’

  • ‘Writing about Magic’

  • ‘Edit your Writing’ 

These classes are for intermediate to advanced-level writers and professional authors – definitely not for beginners or the faint-of heart.  Get an up-to-date list of scheduled classes.












Learn step-by-step how to create fictional fights which leave the reader breathless with excitement.
The book gives you a six-part structure to use as blueprint for your scene. It reveals tricks how to combine fighting with dialogue, which senses to use when and how, how to create a sense of realism, and how to stir the reader’s emotions. You’ll decide how much violence your scene needs, what’s the best location, how your heroine can get out of trouble with self-defence and how to adapt your writing style to the fast pace of the action.

There are sections on female fighters, male fighters, animals and weres, psychological obstacles, battles, duels, brawls, riots and final showdowns. For the requirements of your genre, there is even advice on how to build erotic tension in a fight scene, how magicians fight, how pirates capture ships and much more. You will learn about different types of weapons, how to use them in fiction, and how to avoid embarrassing blunders. Note: The book uses British spellings.

Writing Fight Scenes is vailable from Amazon (US site)Amazon (UK site)Barnes&NobleSmashwordsiTunes,  Kobo and other online booksellers.

Rayne is active on Twitter where she posts #writetip tweets. If your profile says that you read or write, she will follow you back.



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Do You Write Historic Novels?

Writing Fight Scenes by Rayne HallHistory wasn’t short of wars and battles. Unless you can find detailed testimonials of eye-witnesses in archives, you need to employ some techniques to describe realistic battle scenes. Thanks to guest blogger Rayne Hall we get some very interesting tips here:

by Rayne Hall

Here are some techniques for creating powerful, exciting, realistic battle scenes. The biggest challenge in writing a battle scene is the point of view. To make the experience exciting and moving, it is best to stick to the perspective of a single fighter. However, the individual soldier can’t see what goes on a few feet from him, let alone what’s happening at the other end of the battlefield or how the sun dyes the horizon bloody red.

Here’s a possible solution: Show the terrain before the fight begins, and have the general give a pep talk explaining the overall strategy. Once the fighting is over, show the battlefield and have your point of view character talk with his comrades about the implications.

Do you want to involve the reader’s emotions? Stack the odds against your heroes. The readers’ natural sympathies lie with the smaller army. The greater you can make the numerical difference, the better. The evil overlord’s army is bigger than the hero’s, and it is much better equipped, too.

Have you heard of the battle of Thermopylae (480 BC), when three hundred Spartans defended Greece against thousands of invading Persians? The Spartans knew they were going to die, and fought anyway, to gain time for their homeland to prepare further defences. Since then, thousands of battles have been fought – and forgotten. Thermopylae is remembered. The story has been retold in many novels, non-
fiction books, and films. The incredible bravery against overwhelming odds still rouses audiences’ emotions. When writing your own battle scenes, use Thermopylae as your inspiration.

Battles don’t just happen: they are usually planned. At least one side seeks the battle and is prepared. The generals plan a battle strategy in advance, and make sure that their officers know it. In the heat of the battle, it’s often impossible to change strategy or give orders. Sometimes, soldiers are still fighting when the battle has already been decided, because they don’t know that their king is dead or the enemy general has surrendered.

Often, the location decides the outcome of the battle. Generals choose the location carefully – and so should you, the author!  If the battle takes place on a slope, the army uphill has a huge advantage, because it’s easier to fight downhill than uphill, and because missiles fly further. Each general tries to make the battle happen in terrain which favours his own army, and where the enemy can’t fully deploy his. For example, chariots are fearsome on the plain, but useless in the mountains. Foot archers can fight on any terrain, especially in the mountains. The general who has many chariots will try to force a battle on the plain, while the general who has archers will try to lure them into mountainous terrain. If one general has a small army and his enemy has a large one, he’ll try to lure them into a gorge or other restricted space where they can’t move.

Armies are organised in units either by level of skill and experience (elite, veterans, novices, untrained peasants…) or by weapons and equipment (cavalry, infantry, archers, spearmen, chariots…) or both.

Before the battle, the general probably addresses the troops, firing their fighting spirit and courage. This pep talk may include de-personalizing the enemy, because soldiers are more willing to kill monsters than to kill fellow human beings. It’s easy to kill a man whom you consider a menace to your children, and difficult to kill him if you think of him as a fellow human who loves his children as much as you love yours.

Noble thoughts and ideals have no room during battle. The thinker of noble thoughts and carrier of high ideals during battle won’t survive. If you want to show your hero’s nobility, do it when the fighting is over: perhaps he gives the fallen enemies a decent burial, or ensures that his captives get medical treatment and food.

Consider using interesting or extreme weather to make your battle scene unusual. Imagine pristine snow which gets trampled, becomes slippery, and stains red with blood. Or a strong wind which blows arrows off course. Or blistering heat and glaring sun. Or week-long rain turning the field into knee-deep mud, making it difficult for foot soldiers, let alone horses or chariots. Or fog blocking the view of the enemy.

At the beginning of the battle, both armies shoot missiles to take out as many of the enemy as possible before they get close. In a historical novel, clouds of arrows may darken the sky before the battle begins. When the fighting is under way, describe only what the point of view character can see: this is probably only what is immediately before him, such as the enemy weapon stabbing at him.

To create excitement, mention sounds: the clanking of swords, the hissing of arrows, the pinging of bullets.
Once the fighting is over, the survivors count their dead, bandage their wounds and repair their weapons. In this section, you can inject realism… Soon after the battle, there’ll be carrion birds (e.g. crows, vultures) feeding on the corpses. There’ll be humans (probably the victorious soldiers) gathering up re-usable weapons (because weapons are valuable) and looting the corpses. The battlefield is covered in
blood, gore, and amputated limbs. The stench is awful, because in death, the bladder and bowels have opened. Plus, there’s the smell from injuries, not just blood (which starts to stink only after a while) but the content of stomachs and intestines from belly wounds. The stench gets worse after a few hours, especially if the weather is hot. After some hours, the corpses will be crawling with flies, and before long, there’ll be maggots.

If you’re aiming for great realism, you may want to spend several paragraphs describing the gruesome aftermath. If you want to create more light-hearted entertainment, it’s best to keep the aftermath section short and to skip the gory details.

For tips on writing all kinds of fight scenes – from duels to riots, from self-defence to pirate attack – you may find my book “Writing Fight Scenes” useful. It’s available as an e-book.

If you have questions about writing battle scenes, feel free to ask. I’ll be around for the next week and will respond: rain_dancer_uk – a t –



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Sail to Success: Writing and Publishing Classes

Norwegian Sky Cruise Ship

December 3-7, 2012 • Bahamas Cruise
Norwegian Sky 4-Day Bahamas Cruise – combined with publishing and writing seminars:

Have a part of your manuscript critiqued by the publisher who publishes Mercedes Lackey, Joe Haldeman and Harry Turtledove amongst many others.

Learn about contract negotiations by the agent who negotiates on behalf of Lois McMaster Bujold, Catherine Asaro and the estate of Robert A. Heinlein.

Get to know all the inside tricks by some of the best and most experienced writers in the genre today, including:

Mike Resnick, who has won more awards than anyone else (living or dead) in short fiction and is the guest of honor at this year’s Worldcon.  Kevin J. Anderson with 48 bestsellers and over 23 million copies of books in print. One of the most popular SF writers today.  Nancy Kress, multiple award winning author of the ground breaking ‘Beggars in Spain’ (Hugo/Nebula), and an author who is fondly known as ‘The Queen of Novellas’ since every novella she writes appears to get nominated for a major award.  Rebecca Moesta, who specializes in the lucrative young adult market and has penned numerous YA bestsellers, including those set in the Star Wars universe.

And as if this wasn’t enough…you get to do all this while on a cruise ship visiting the Bahamas in a classroom limited to only 22 students.  Significant discounts are available for early sign-ups. 


Hyper Smash



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Have You Heard About LitChat’s Fiction Writing Course?

Betsy Hotel Miami FL, South Beach,


LitChat is a fun, fast, and friendly way for booklovers to talk about books on Twitter. Authors and Readers can chat on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 4-5 pm (EST).

LitChat offers an intensive Fiction Writing Course on September 16 – 19 in South Beach, FL.
“Take your writing to the next level at LitChat’s first annual Writer’s Advance. The LitChat Writer’s Advance offers two days of intensive fiction writing education to a small group of writers seeking to sharpen skills, fine-tune their writer’s voice, and plot their own literary success.”

September 16-19, 2012
The Betsy Hotel South Beach, 1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL

Taught by a faculty of award-winning authors, including master instructors Jon Clinch and Les Standiford, the LitChat Writer’s Advance includes two sessions with a master instructor, ample writing time, two read and critique sessions with master instructors, a panel discussion with published authors, and a public reading series featuring published authors. Panelists confirmed so far include: Debra Dean, Keith Cronin, Patricia Engle.

The host of LitChat’s Writer’s Advance is South Beach’s most literary boutique hotel, The Betsy  Included in the full Writer’s Advance tuition is a welcome reception on Sunday, September 16, 2012, coffee and tea breaks each morning, and a group dinner on Monday night.

Writer’s Advance tuition Early Bird until August 1, 2012: $250
Writer’s Advance tuition August 2-September 15, 2012: $300
Writer’s Advance tuition at the door: $350 (if space is available)
South Beach Miami

If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts (there are almost 500 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “Like” next to it.

Follow on Twitter: @111publishing

And don’t forget to spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr or StumbleUpon – or other social networking sites of your choice) – other writers might also enjoy this blog and find it useful.


Hyper Smash



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Quitter Conference: From Day Job to Dream Job

Who doesn’t dream to write full-time and become a successful author?  Why not just doing it?  What holds us back?  Get some inducement at

The Quitter Conference, Nashville, TN September 21-22

We all have unique gifts and talents … and unique dreams. What are yours? What gets your heart pounding? Maybe you do vision your dream and you just don’t know how to get there. Either way, Jon Acuff invites you to be a Quitter!

At the Quitter Conference, you’ll learn how to:

  • Follow a step-by-step process to find out what your dream is. You kind of need to know that first.
  • Face the three biggest fears that keep you from going for your dream.
  • Create, organize and execute 10 times as many ideas at a time. (Yes. 10 times.)
  • Use social media to build what your dream needs to succeed
  • Recognize the six signs it’s time for you to jump ship.
  • This is how to get from your day job to your dream job.

It’s a two-day crash course in finding, chasing and succeeding at your passion. This is also a great chance to network with people just like you who are working hard on turning their dreams into reality.

The Quitter Conference in Nashville, TN, September 21–22
Early Bird Tickets $119 – After July 23 price goes up to $139


If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out previous posts (there are almost 500 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “Like” next to it.

Follow us on Twitter: @111publishing

And don’t forget to spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr or StumbleUpon – or other social networking sites of your choice) – other writers might also enjoy this blog and find it useful.


Hyper Smash



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For Writers Who Are Serious About Achieving Success!

Writers Conference in Denton (DFW area) July 21 – 22, 2012

From their invitation:
In a world filled with people who think they are writers, only a handful will truly succeed. What separates them from the rest of the crowd? They take advantage of all the available opportunities and resources to promote their work and themselves. So, you have to ask yourself – Are you as well known as you could be? Are your books selling as well as they should?

Nowadays, writers are expected to take on more of the marketing and promotional duties.
They have to not only write, they have to blog and post and tweet as well. They have to build their own platforms, identify their own demographics, and find their own market share. The profession has changed and anyone who does not adopt and adapt will not succeed.
The LEXICON WRITERS CONFERENCE seeks to assist, promote, and educate writers in all genres and fields, including fiction, non-fiction, screenplay, and graphic novel. Published and unpublished writers are invited to attend. Meet with established writers, literary agents, publishers and marketing experts to discuss your finished or unfinished manuscripts. We will also have experts in various fields to provide technical information.

The LEXICON WRITERS CONFERENCE will be held on July 21 – 22, 2012 in Denton, Texas but we have special events set up for the 19th and 20th as well.
The BEST WESTERN PREMIER AND HILTON GARDEN INN located at HOSPITALITY HILL in Denton, Texas – 30 minutes north of D/FW International Airport and Dallas, Texas. The two host hotels have special rates for attendees and have waved their cancellation policy, allowing people to cancel their rooms up to 4:00 the day of July 20, 2012.

Sign up now for the conference and take advantage of the reduced prices (See Information Page for prices and deadlines). Be sure to indicate whether you are interested in attending the Friday Night Meet and Greet Dinner or any of the other special programs.


Hyper Smash


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Discover How You Can Profitably Self-Publish a Book

Get all your publishing questions answered – self-publishing that is – at the 4th annual Self-Publisher’s Online Conference (SPOC) May 8-10, 2012 

Expert speakers include: Dan Poynter, Chris Garrett, Peter BowermanJoel Friedlander, Dan Janal, Sandra Beckwith, Susan Daffron, James Byrd, Dana Lynn Smith, Penny Sansevieri, Joshua Tallent, Carolyn McCray, Roger C. Parker, Andrea Vahl, Gary Barnes and Kathy Goughenhour.
Read about these speakers (they are the “who is who” in publishing advice) at

Each day has a “theme” that is designed to help you reach your publishing goals.  Note: ALL Times are PACIFIC time.  SPOC is a virtual conference, so you can attend in your pyjamas if you like.



9-10 am (PDT)
James Byrd & Susan Daffron
The Big Picture: How to Bring Your Book into the World

11am -12 noon (PDT)
Chris Garrett
Be More Productive and Build Your Authority

1-2 pm (PDT)
Writing & Publishing
Q&A Roundtable

3-4 pm (PDT)
Peter Bowerman
The “Write Way” to Publish and Promote

5-6 pm (PDT)
Joel Friedlander
Publishing Strategies for Self-Publishers


9-10 am (PDT)
Dan Janal
Build Your Brand and Get More Prospects with Publicity

11am -12 noon (PDT)
Sandra Beckwith
What’s Your Hook?

1-2 pm (PDT)
Book Promotion
Q&A Roundtable

3-4 pm (PDT)
Dana Lynn Smith
Top 10 Book Promotion Strategies for Authors

5-6 pm (PDT)
Penny Sansevieri
Fans, Followers and Friends: Maximize Social Media to Sell More Books


9-10 am (PDT)
Joshua Tallent
Ebook Design, Formats and Workflow

11am -12 noon (PDT)
Carolyn McCray
Maximize Your Book Sales on

1-2 pm (PDT)
Ebooks & Beyond
Q&A Roundtable

3-4 pm (PDT)
Roger C. Parker
Leveraging Your Book into Prospects, Products, & Profits

5-6 pm (PDT)
Andrea Vahl
Build Your Expert Status with a Powerful Social Media and Publishing Combination.

All passes give you access to the virtual SPOC Exhibit Hall and seminar recordings. They will give you access to the SPOC Exhibit Hall and seminar recordings.

$147.00 – SPOC 2012 Standard Pass.
Enter the coupon code FFW12 at checkout and you will save 10%!



Hyper Smash


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