Have you ever picked up a book and read back cover copy that sent shivers down your spine? You know what I mean: stories located in a peaceful country garden filled with sweetpeas and butterflies, or the brooding castle that bristles with medieval weaponry—these are the settings that tell you what adventures lie in store.
Tagged: Loving Lucy
The goal for every writer has to be writing a book so compelling that readers can’t put it down. Using foreshadowing can help you create that kind of suspense, because it hints at what comes later and motivates the reader to find out what that drama or secret is. Foreshadowing can also convey information that helps readers understand future events.
Many books, whatever their genre or literary bent, include a love story. Whether thriller, mystery, science fiction, or even Western, many stories that are not written primarily as romances include a love story in which the complications of the lovers match, complement, or escalate the complications of the primary plot. Think of Robert B. Parker’s Westerns, John Sandford’s thrillers, and many others.
A publisher recently sent me a review of a published book that I’d edited for them. The review praised several specifics that I had fought for over two revision cycles. To me, the need for the changes had seemed obvious—but they came as a surprise to the author. In fact, the last several manuscripts I’ve worked on have had significant structural issues—nothing that couldn’t be repaired, but expensive in terms of time and effort, especially since some problems came up early and affected events throughout the book.
This post on craft is the first of several monthly posts by new monthly guest columnist, Kay Keppler, that we’ll be publishing here on the Writer’s Fun Zone. Today she’ll share with us how to build characters with action and motivation.