Elements of Suspense in Writing: 6 Secret to Creating and Sustaining Suspense. Thriller writing? Mystery writing? Literary fiction? It’s all the same: Building apprehension in the minds of your readers is one of the most effective keys to engaging them early in your novel and keeping them flipping pages late into the night.
Simply put, if you don’t hook your readers, they won’t get into the story. If you don’t drive the story forward by making readers worry about your main character, they won’t have a reason to keep reading. Think: Worry equals suspense. The best part is, the secrets for ratcheting up the suspense are easy to implement. 1. Four factors are necessary for suspense—reader empathy, reader concern, impending danger and escalating tension. We create reader empathy by giving the character a desire, wound or internal struggle that readers can identify with. We want readers to worry about whether or not the character will get what he wants.
Suspense builds as danger approaches. Then blow in more. And more. Until the reader can hardly stand it. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Seven Key Elements of Pacing Your Novel--Plus a Mystery Box of Four Books/ARCs. We hear it all the time, “start with action.” I see the results of that every month in the First Five Pages Workshop, where writers have heard it so often they automatically think they have to start with a murder, a car crash, or an explosion to get someone’s attention. But here’s the thing. Every novel has its own speed, and its own readership. There's no one-size fits all solution. The critical aspect of pacing for any novelist is control—knowing why you’re making the choices you’re making and knowing how those choices will affect your readers. This week's giveaway: Compulsion was long-listed for the SIBA Book Award from the Southern Independent Bookseller's Alliance this week, so I'm in the mood to celebrate.
Enter below. Your Two Cents Any thoughts on pacing? Horror Authors: How to Scare the Heck Out of Your Readers. Novel Writing Help. 25 Things You Should Know About Plot. Previous iterations of the “25 Things” series: 25 Things Every Writer Should Know 25 Things You Should Know About Storytelling 25 Things You Should Know About Character And now… 1. What The Fiddly Fuck Is “Plot,” Anyway? A plot is the sequence of narrative events as witnessed by the audience. 2. Some folks will ask, incorrectly, “What’s the plot?” 3. A plot functions like a skeleton: it is both structural and supportive. 4.
The biggest plot crime of them all is a plot that doesn’t make a lick of goddamn sense. 5. The simplest motherfucker of a plot is this: things get worse until they get better. 6. Fiction is driven by characters in conflict, or, put differently, the flame of fiction grows brighter through friction. 7. Of course, the essence of the essential conflict — the one below all that Wo/Man versus stuff — is a character’s wants versus a character’s fears. 8. A plot grows within the story you’re telling. 9. 10. 11. Characters will tell you your plot. 12. 13. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. How To Create An Intriguing Inciting Incident.
Every single element between the first page and the very last page of a screenplay is arguably the most important, salable thing about it. In this article, the beginning of the plot takes the number one spot. However, the plot really can’t begin being awesome until it is set in motion. That’s where the inciting event comes in.
A good plot is everything that transpires in the screenplay and, if it’s captivating, will have an equally captivating inciting event. First, the reader/audience has to care about the character they’re following. Even if the main character isn’t all that interesting, the situations or surroundings that make up their world can be what keeps the audience engaged. Now that we have a good starting point, we have to make the inciting event big. In Star Wars: Episode IV, the inciting event is Luke Skywalker discovering that his family has been killed. In Disney’s The Lion King, Mufasa has a son who will inherit the throne from him.
Plot Development: How to write the climax and ending of your novel. By Glen C. Strathy* Plot development is something you should think about after you have written a brief plot outline (Part 3). In this article, we're going to consider how to make sure the plot of your novel incorporates a satisfying climax and resolution. Many writers, especially pantsers, don't like to think about how their plot develops until they've written most of the first draft, preferring to let the ending evolve organically out of what comes before. Others may plan an ending ahead of time, but they prefer to rely on instinct, feeling, and a lot of trial and error rather than any kind of theory. I believe, however, that you can save yourself a lot of time and effort in the long run by making a few decisions about how your plot develops and the nature of your story early on. Of course, your ending must make emotional and logical sense.
Will Your Novel End Happily, Unhappily, Or Somewhere In Between? If the answer is no, then in classical terms, your novel will be a tragedy. 1. 2. 3. Fight Scenes 101. 100 Little Ways You Can Dramatically Improve Your Writing. 25 Things Every Writer Should Know. An alternate title for this post might be, “Things I Think About Writing,” which is to say, these are random snidbits (snippets + tidbits) of beliefs I hold about what it takes to be a writer.
I hesitate to say that any of this is exactly Zen (oh how often we as a culture misuse the term “Zen” — like, “Whoa, that tapestry is so cool, it’s really Zen“), but it certainly favors a sharper, shorter style than the blathering wordsplosions I tend to rely on in my day-to-day writing posts. Anyway. Peruse these. Absorb them into your body. Let your colonic flora digest them and feed them through your bloodstream to the little goblin-man that pilots you. Feel free to disagree with any of these; these are not immutable laws. Buckle up. 1. The Internet is 55% porn, and 45% writers. 2. A lot of writers try to skip over the basics and leap fully-formed out of their own head-wombs. 3. 4. I have been writing professionally for a lucky-despite-the-number 13 years. 5.
Luck matters. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. Writing Emotions VISUALLY by OokamiKasumi on deviantART. Fiction Writing Tips. How a Scene List Can Change Your Novel-Writing Life. By the end of this post you will have a nagging urge to use an excel spreadsheet. Don’t make that face—I know you’re a writer and not a data analyst. Or if you are a data analyst—I get that you’re on this blog to get away from your day job. But guess what? At the suggestion of Randy Ingermason—the creator of the Snowflake Method—I listed all of the scenes in my novel in a nice little Google spreadsheet. It changed my novel-writing life, and doing the same will change yours too.
Creating a scene list changed my novel-writing life, and doing the same will change yours too. Scene Lists Help You Plan I tried to write a novel once before without planning in advance. I used the Snowflake Method, which consists of several steps to designing a novel that we can discuss at a later date. Today we’re focusing on a particular step: the creation of a scene list. What is a scene list? It’s literally a list of the scenes in your novel in an excel spreadsheet. Column 1: POV. 1. 2. 3. Scene Lists Help You Edit. The Ultimate List of Screenwriting Rules, Tips, Laws, Principles, Guidelines, and More. SOURCE: Lover of the Dark15 General Tips (1) Tell a great story Nothing matters if you don’t have a great story worth telling. A tale you are passionate about.
A screenplay worthy of your creativity and devotion. (2) Master the format Anyone can learn the industry standard for margins & overall structure of a screenplay. . (3) No stage directions You are not the director. . (4) Show, don’t tell Story is revealed through actions and characters. . (5) Get in late, get out early This rule applies to your entire screenplay but also to individual scenes. . (6) Know your audience Never lose sight of who you are writing for even if it’s yourself. . (7) Create obstacles Nothing should be easy for your characters. . (8) Clarity Every sentence should communicate an idea (or more than one idea) and it should be crystal clear.
. (9) Your world, your characters If you don’t have the answers, how can you ask the questions that drive your screenplay? (10) Less is more (11) Write what you know (12) Have something to say. Periodic Table of Storytelling.