Drop a pebble into still water and the energy of displacement radiates out in concentric waves of increasing circumference and proportionately decreasing intensity. That sounds so scientific, doesn’t it? That image occurred to me while lying in bed with my dog pressed against my chest. We live alone now, just “Bubba” and me, and although we have friends, relatives, business and social acquaintances, I began to wonder who might miss us when the inevitable time comes. The ripples my life has generated in the continuum of space and time, as explicated by the waves in the gentle pool, are spreading wider and wider, and are decreasing in their crest and trough. At some point their significance will likely diminish to the point of imperceptibility. Will anyone remember? Continue reading
If you’re writing a novel, consider a Black Moment about two thirds into the book.
At this stage, everything and everyone has turned against the hero (who can, of course, be a heroine).
The hero is under pressure and close to giving up. Internal and external conflicts have increased to the degree that your hero can’t bear it any more. His girlfriend has broken up with him, his allies have deserted the cause, he has been fired from his job and evicted
from his home, the villain’s henchmen are closing in, and his big secret has been exposed in the press. Under pressure, he is close to giving up. To make matters worse, his girl has been abducted and will die unless the hero surrenders the proof of the villain’s machinations… and he can neither rescue her nor deliver the documents because he’s locked up in a prison cell. All seems lost.
If you can think of another way to make it still more difficult for your hero, pile it on.
Make it still more difficult by taking away his means of communication – the mobile phone (British) or cellphone (American), the internet connection, the humans who might carry a message.
Only a tiny shred of hope remains that the hero will achieve his big, important goal.
The hero feels rage, despair and a whole cocktail of other emotions. Consider adding fear: he fears not only for himself, but for the safety of his abducted girlfriend, as well as for the people in the building the villain is about to bomb, for the survival of the human race, or whatever is at stake in your story.
Turn the suspense volume up as high as you can. The “ticking clock” technique works well. The hero has only a certain amount of time – perhaps one hour – to escape from the villain’s clutches and rescue his girlfriend, defuse the bomb or save the world. He is aware of the time ticking away. You can emphasise this by actually showing a clock. The hero sees he has thirty minutes left… then fifteen… ten…five…two…one. This builds enormous suspense.
Let the reader feel the hero’s physical responses to the tension: the aching neck, the dry throat, the sweat trickling down his sides.
The blacker you make the Black Moment, the more exciting the Climax and the more rewarding the End.
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Adrianna and I thought we might like to address something that almost all writers know something about, but a topic of which few emerging writers have a competent knowledge. In fact, two distinctly different job titles that I perform work under on a daily basis, my Continue reading
Critique is a of disciplined, systematic analysis of a written or oral discourse. Critique is commonly understood as fault-finding and negative judgement, but it can also involve merit recognition, and in the philosophical tradition it also means a methodical practice of doubt. —Babylon dictionary.
My little ranting…
Ever since I saw someone throw a fit about reviews they received by a reader, I’ve been dying to write about it. So that I may stop banging my head against my desk when reading about this oh-so-common problem, I am going to vent here. Continue reading
Being world-weary and feeling all dried up I went looking for a reboot – for some inspiration. Yeats is good for that. He, to me, is among the writers’ poets and carries the spark of what the Celts term ‘awen’, the gift of the ‘breeze’ causing poetry to flow from their mouths. This ‘breeze’ or breath is given from the gods. So, Yeats is a good place to start when looking for that breeze – to have prose flow on to the paper. Continue reading