Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Tipsy Tuesday

As a writer, you need to keep the readers engaged throughout the entire story. It's not uncommon to have a terrific, high-octane start and an exciting, dramatic end, but somehow, in the middle, things break down and get a little, well, boring. How can you avoid this?

One way is to make sure you keep the action rising. A fast pace is crucial to keeping reader interest, so everything that happens before the climax should keep kicking the suspense, the drama, up. Stephen King argues that a closed door can be a continuous source of fearful suspense, but only so long as it remains closed. Once it's opened and the "Unknown Thing" confronted, suspense is resolved. (Danse Macabre)

How many movies have you seen where the hero's car starts just fine throughout the movie (even after being shot up and driven into the ground) until that moment when the villain or monster is about to catch him? The motor grinds, viewers slide closer to the edge of their seats and, finally! The engine catches and the hero escapes with only seconds to spare. Trite, perhaps, but certainly tried and true.

It's like this: each time you make it bad for your characters, you must then make it worse. Then worse yet again. And still worse until you reach the climax.

That's how you hold reader interest and keep them turning the pages.


Colleen Love said...

Hi Sherrill! Great Tipsy Tuesday!

Nothing better then suspense filled adventures! I think that's one of the best parts of writing! Keeping the suspense wrapped tight until the last possible second. Planning twists and turns that are unexpected and trying to avoid the 'mundane middle'.

I love Stephen King's book, 'On Writing', but his stories scare me to death! lol

Happy Tuesday!

Sherrill Quinn said...

Colleen, I think I've only read one Stephen King book--On Writing. I'm not into horror fiction that much, so I haven't read any of his fiction books, but I'm smart enough (I think) to know he's doing something right! LOL