Saturday, April 9

Jack-in-the-Box Suspense

Everyone talks about tension in a novel, it’s what keeps a reader flipping the page or scanning along on their e-reader. Tension is suspense. It isn’t mystery. Mystery happens after the deed.  Suspense happens before. As in who kidnapped the CEO’s daughter, opposed to threats to kidnap her.

I liken suspense to the Jack-in-the-Box my brother received for Christmas one year.(Yup, it’s the one pictured, it was back in the 50’s) Ever since that red haired, evil jumped out of his box to the tune of round the mulberry bush, my brother hated clowns.

Turn that crank so the tune plays and the clown jumps out to scare the crap out of any kid. We know he’s gonna pop, so we turn the crank one plink at a time, poised on our knees, necks strained, eyes squinty. One plink, two plink, keep going. You know he’ll scare you but just maybe this time we’ll hear the click before he bursts into your face waving back and forth with lipstick smeared all over his mouth. Every time he wins.

When writing suspense we want the reader to feel he’s in the scene. It’s important to set it up using the senses. The touch of the doorknob, creak of the door, scent of a rotting corpse, shadows in corners, and then plink, plink, plink.

Want to read more? Here are some links:

Saturday, March 12

Nook VS Book and Clarity by Kim Harrington

Click here to see how I made my cover.
Don't get me wrong, I love my nook. It fits in my purse and is easy to take to the laundromat.

Also, it was easy to add my documents or e-books in pdf format to my nook to read away from my computer. The online classes I'm taking with Bob Mayer and Savvy Authors can be transferred to my nook for reading later.

I love downloading books from Barnes and Noble in a couple of minutes, such fun.

But when I received Clarity, by Kim Harrington in the mail,
it has a dust jacket. Not just a cover, it's beautiful. The
raised letters of the title, the girl with striking blue eyes,
her red hair, sunbursts on her face. Breathtaking.

I see posts all over the internet, how excited authors
and readers are over the graphics for a novel. It's
something that gets the reader excited, it invites you
to open the pages. (The title wasn't available as an
e-book when I preordered, but now I see it is.)

                                                                            I removed the dust cover. The book is purple with indented title and on the spine the letters are raised and printed in gold.

Yes, there is something about holding a book in your hands, it's romantic. I'm in love.

By the way, I loved the story inside. Clarity is a wonderful character. She does things I wish I had the nerve to do. But seems in the end we may see Clarity in the future.

Monday, February 28

My first award

On February 20th I was surprised and honored by Margo Lerwill, Urban Psychopomp with a Blog Award! My first one. I'm so excited. It has taken me awhile to brag, but I am honored.
This award comes with instruction on sharing. And here they are:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award. (Thank you,Margo!)
2. Share four guilty pleasures that you have.
3. Pass the award on to six other blogs.

Number 2-- Four guilty pleasures:
                   1. American Idol. Not even my kids dare to call me during the show unless they want to talk about what's happening...on the show, nothing else.
                   2. Popcorn: I always eat popcorn while watching American Idol. Oh and sometimes I even eat it for dinner.
                   3. I love to be alone. Maybe its a strange thing, but after raising 4 kids, I think I deserve some alone time.
                   4. A good book. I will read till its finished. Don't interrupt me, and you can't eat till I'm hungry. 

Number 3--The six blogs I'd like to recognize, okay other than Urban Psychopomp

The Grammar Divas by Darlene Buchholz and Annie Oortman
The Ending Unplanned by Rachel Harris

Meadow of Words by Meadow

Old Farmhouse Cooking by the OFG Team.....Hey a writer's gotta eat.

Friday, January 21


A scene is where the action is.

Growing up in the 50's and 60's we all wanted to be where the action was. How many cool scenes had nothing of significance only that it was a groovy place to be?

Scenes in a novel need to have pertinence to the story and plot. If your protagonist is having a great time and lots of action but not one bit of new information or she's grooving at a stand still, get it out of your manuscript.

A scene has a beginning middle and end. It incorporates character, POV, action, dialogue, plot, and conflict.

It's important to ground your reader at the beginning where the hero is and what POV (if there's more than one) the reader is viewing through.

In the middle, conflict and drama take place. This is where it should get hairy. A complication that causes a struggle for your hero.

The end will give your reader a reason to keep reading. Whether it's bits of information about the plot or a cliff hanger leaving her not able to turn the page fast enough.

To read more, I love Make a Scene by Jordan E. Rosenfeld.

Saturday, January 15

New Year, new Writing Classes

Fifteen days into the New Year and I still haven't finished a first draft. And my inner critic keeps reminding me that my writing is not up to par. My biggest problem seems to be that during the Christmas Holiday, I didn't write. I can sure see why after a first draft one puts it away and then comes back to edit. I'm lost. I've forgotten what I've written, and where I put  my unorganized files.

Catching up on my blogs I read Kristen Lamb's posts. She mentioned Write it Forward workshops. I clicked over there and found the workshop for February is Outlining and Plot, taught by Bob Mayer. AND that the cost is only $20. You can bet I signed up for that. Hope to see you there.