To increase suspense in a scene where a dangerous person is about to do something nasty, slow down the pace and describe their hands. This is perfect for when the evil overlord signs the order to exterminate the children, or when the torturer readies his instruments.
This technique works especially well in thrillers. Show the killer’s (or the suspect’s) hands, especially when the point-of-view character is helpless to do anything. This will send creepy shivers across the reader’s skin.
Continue reading “Writer’s Craft: Cruel Claws: Describing the Killer’s Hands 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.
Continue reading “Writer’s Craft: Managing Tension With Peaks and Troughs by Rayne Hall”
When a basketball player pivots, he keeps one foot in place while spinning to the side to change direction.
That’s what a plot twist does.
The story’s new direction doesn’t come out of nowhere. It’s rooted in the overall context of the story, but it takes everyone by surprise.
Also, the momentum that appeared to be moving the story in one direction actually propels it into a new, even more meaningful one.
Look for ways to make every scene pivot away from expectation toward satisfaction.
Continue reading “Pulling the Rug Out: The Keys to Creating Great Twists by Steven James”
I can’t speak for other authors – I write because I love to write, but that doesn’t mean that people will want to read what I’ve written. So that leaves an interesting puzzle on the table. Write because I love to write, but create a story people want to read.
I started my career as an author writing action stories because, as a kid, I loved The Bourne Identity. In fact I loved it so much I read it all through high school. I mean it – I started in grade 8, and I finished it in grade 12. Needless to say, reading wasn’t my favorite hobby and I didn’t read very fast either. But once I read the book (finally, after 5 years), I knew I wanted to be an author and write my own stories.
Continue reading “Inside the Writers Mind with Adam Rabinowitz”
Mystery literature is undergoing a resurgence with the American public. We find ourselves in need of a good story where the protagonist undergoes a journey, perhaps of faith, family, or reaction to something that cuts us to the quick. We select settings that we are comfortable with, things that make our own breath be held as we voyage into our story. Some of us use a timeline, writing each occurrence out in the order it will happen. It’s an effective tool, keeping us focused. Some of us write from the imagination without a specific timeline but as our characters reveal themselves to us. I’ll use the word hero a lot below but I mean hero or heroine.
Continue reading “Guest Post: Writing a Mystery/Thriller by Ann W. J. White, M.Ed.”
Mystery Thriller Week 2017 has a surprise for you when all the hard work of NaNoWriMo screeches to a halt and is a distant memory. A completely free online MTW scheduled for February 12th – 22nd next year will help keep you motivated to crank out that final Work In Progress you started in November. This is your personal ticket for a unique opportunity to connect with both new and award-winning published authors, writing specialists, story coaches, editors, publishers, bloggers focused on reviewing books, vloggers, podcasters promoting the craft of writing, filmmakers, and numerous fans itching to learn more about the Mystery Thriller genre.
Continue reading “#NANOWRIMO2016 Writers Sought”