Giving out a link today that helped me solve a problem. It’s an article by Jeff Elkins at The Write Practice.
Three Tricks to Build Suspense and Engage Your Readers:
- A Race Against the Clock
- Hint at Solutions
- Connect the Unconnected
Today, this article helped me figure how to get out of a corner I’d written myself into. In my case, I went with all three: I added lawyer with a court order, so the detective only has X amount of time to examine to clue before it’s taken away (those clues will hint at solutions and connect the unconnected).
Experimenting with rhetoric today, on a pass-through of a first draft. Here’s the original:
Inside is a labyrinth crammed with bookshelves, floor-to-ceiling, with corridors just wide enough to maneuver a book cart. The overhead lights cast yellow beams and shadows all over the place. The room smells of ink and paper. Wet ink, not just from the books. It’s secluded, it’s probably impossible to hear anything in hear from the outside, and there are no cameras.
Here’s the new version:
Inside a labyrinth, crammed floor-to-ceiling with bookshelves, corridors just wide enough to maneuver a cart, overhead lights that cast withered rays and wicked shadows, the aroma of dust and ink and disregard, tucked away treasures and slumbering secrets, the dreams and nightmares of prey and predator, secluded, silent, and shut off from the world, awaits me in his lair.
Election day here in America. If you haven’t voted, go to iwillvote.com to find out how.
Emma Darwin has some great advice on what to do with stories that are too long, at her blog This Itch of Writing. Hers is another fantastic place to go if you want to learn the craft and you’ve got an afternoon or a weekend to burn.
Good luck to all the NaNoWriMo authors out there! I’ll see you next month. Don’t forget to eat and sleep and all that.