Author Lisa Cron walks you through an example of how to include conflict and suspense so the reader will connect more deeply and be more engaged with the story.
feeling relieved and wondering whether Homer is single. Val's mood arcs during the scene. We know why her mood changed. She realized that Enid was probably okay, and Homer is really cute. It leaves us with something to anticipate. Does a scene need to suggest more than that? Well, if this were a lighthearted romance novel, It's a crime thriller, and guess what? because since the writer didn't want to give it all away, she kept the most heart-pounding part of the scene a big fat secret. She thought she would reveal it all later and really surprise the reader. But she did such a good job of hiding it that we had no idea there even was a secret. If we don't know there's intrigue afoot, then there is no intrigue afoot. So let's imagine the exact same scene, except this time, the writer has let us know that... - [Writer] Enid struggled with the duct tape binding her arms to the chair in the basement below. muffled the sound. Does she absolutely have to tell us? But what she does have to do is give us hints when it's revealed. Let's see what the writer comes up with. "Please, just see if you recognize her," Val said and thrust out the photo from their trip. "Really, I have no..." he trailed off in his words. "Wait, she does look a little familiar. "Would you like to come in for a cup of tea? "I find that a nice cup of Earl Grey always jogs my memory." "I'm not sure if I should. "I'd like to continue canvassing the neighborhood." and he looked annoyingly down at his feet. "The rats are always gnawing at the floorboards." "That's odd," she puzzled, "the whole neighborhood was fumigated just last month." - Things like that stoke suspense which in turn triggers a dopamine-fueled rush of curiosity as the reader tries to figure out what's really going on. A story is not about what happens on the surface.
- What is a story?
- Hooking your reader
- Feeling what the protagonist feels
- Being specific
- Creating suspense and conflict
- Writing flashbacks and subplots