Showing posts from May, 2011

Creating Suspense

I love romance novels. I love that they end with a happily ever after. And while I know that by the end of the book, the hero and heroine will be together, I like when the conflicts are thick enough to make me wonder how the author will tie up the story. It's no surprise that I love romantic suspense because the suspense angle adds an extra layer to the conflict. What I don't love is when I figure out on page 5 who the stalker / murderer / arsonist / thief is. It's a tricky line for an author. The antagonist cannot come out of the clear blue sky at the end of the novel, but the ending shouldn't be so obvious. In a novel I recently read (and stopped reading because I'd figured out who the antagonist was and it took all the suspense out of the book), the heroine mentioned several times how this one particular person made her uneasy. Based on the emphasis about this secondary character, I knew he was the criminal. When the antagonist's identity needs to rem


I was looking over a manuscript I submitted two years ago and I realize how far I've come as a writer. One of the lessons I had to learn was that a book is not a series of scenes connected by the characters. The conflicts, internal and external, drive the story. Sadly, some of my novels lacked conflict entirely. Though those manuscripts are not publish-worthy, I loved writing them. I learned so much about the mechanics of writing, conflict, and characters.