Sunday, January 27, 2008



The Sunday Craft lady continues....with intensity! The old saying is so true: you should write what you love to read, and if you are following this blog, you probably enjoy romantic suspense with a Christian world view. many of you are writing suspense or mystery?

Last time, we talked about tension. Today, I'd like to talk about the value of rising intensity. If you have a tense scene, and every single scene afterwards is at the same level of intensity, you will either bore your reader or wear her out! Think of several "W's" strung together.....then tipped up at a 90 degree angle to reach the peak, or climactic moment at the high point. This represents rising stakes, rising tension, rising danger, but with moments in between where the tension isn’t so high, to give the reader a breather.

About those top tips of the W's: with romantic suspense, it's much stronger if each of the big suspense turning points affect the relationship in some way--forcing your hero and heroine together, or driving them apart, or adding something that strongly affects their relationship or their emotional development.

How can you write a strong scene? At the beginning of each scene--ask yourself: Whose scene is this? What does he or she WANT? It should be something that s/he really needs--something that is driving him or her. Something specific to the situation right now.

Then ask yourself: What are the roadblocks keeping her from easily attaining this? Inward fears? Something physical? Someone else standing in her way? Your villain? For the end of the scene, ask yourself, what's the worst thing that can happen right now to these characters, given this situation?

We want to be kind and protective of our families, but our fictional characters? Make life tough for them, and your story will be more powerful, more exciting for the reader!

Until next week.... Roxanne Rustand

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