LATEST RELEASE

               Find Out  More! | Read an Excerpt

 

COMING SOON

Coming August 12, 2014

Find Out More | Read an Excerpt


Want to know what happened after Melt Into You ended?

Releasing September 16, 2014!

Find out more or PRE-ORDERNook | Kindle

 

 

DON'T MISS A THING

*This does not subscribe you to my blog.

FOLLOW ME


       

Search This Site
Powered by Squarespace
Latest From the Blog
Dig Through the Archives
100+ reading challenge 2010 about me adverbs agent agents ashley march author author blog author branding author intrusion author platform author voice author websites authors award awards backstory bad boy balance berkley heat best writing links beta club beta reader beta readers blog tour blog tours blogfest blogger blogging blogging tips book book covers book deal book marketing book promotion book reviews book title books branding characters comments contest contests crash into you creativity critique critique group critiquing dear author debut author deep point of view deep POV dialogue ebooks editing editors endings e-publishing excerpt face off friday feedback fiction fill-me-in friday first chapter first draft first novel genre genre fiction goals guest blog guest blogging guest post harlequin historical romance hook how to write humor ideas indie publishing inspiration interview joan swan Julie Cross kindle kissing blogfest kristen lamb links literary agent literary fiction love scenes marketing mashup melt into you memorable moments middle grade motivation motley crue movies muse music mystery mystery writing Nelson Literary Agency new years resolutions novels opening chapter opening lines openings overediting panster pantser paranormal pen name perfectionism pitching plotter plotting poll promotion publishing queries query query letter querying question of the day reading reading challenges rejection repost revising revisions romance romance author romantic suspense rough draft royal street rules RWA RWA nationals sagging middle Sara Megibow save the cat self-editing self-publishing sequels series sex scenes sierra godfrey social media social networking speed writing submissions suspense suzanne johnson teens tempest tiffany reisz time management TMI traditional publishing tumblr twilight twitter update urban fantasy voice WIP wip wednesday women's fiction wordiness work in progress wednesday workshops write tip writer writer toolbox writers writer's block writers' conference writer's toolbox writetip writing writing blogs writing contest writing craft writing goals YA young adult
« Five Tips On Being Naked In Front of an Audience | Main | Fill-Me-In Friday »
Monday
Aug222011

Wait For It...Waaaait For It: The Nuance of Suspense by Joan Swan

 


Welcome to genre specialist Monday! :) Today I'm excited to introduce you to one of our new regular columnists--Joan Swan, who is a romantic suspense author who debuts in February 2012! Today she's going to talk to us about...

 

 

The Nuance of Suspense by Joan Swan


Wait for it... Waaaaait foooor it...

 

The whole point to suspense is drama development within a story. To have suspenseful drama, you must have:

  • Stakes--what will the character win or lose in the situation

  • Character--do I connect enough with this person to care whether they win or lose

  • Conflict--someone must want one thing while another (even if that is an natural force) wants another. 

And these elements must be utilized in a delicate balance.

 

Suspense is about proposing a story question, then making the reader wait for the answer. How long? It depends...usually on the question itself.  Some are big, some are small, but regardless of the size (or relative importance) every time an answer is revealed, another continues to linger. Like that childhood game leapfrog, some question that the reader needs answered is always in place, which creates a need-to-know atmosphere: hence, suspense.  When done well, the story skips along, with answers coming at intervals and new questions popping up.

Timing is everything, and it's a skill I believe develops on a gut level.  There are "rules of thumb" that can be applied, but in my opinion the development of your sixth sense is more valuable. If you're bored...the reader will be bored. If the scenario feels off to you...it will feel off to the reader. If your attention is scattered between three different story lines...the reader will also be distracted. And if you allow the suspense to linger, making the reader wait too long for answers, they will get exasperated and put the book down. 
There are different types of suspense a writer can employ to keep the pace moving in creative, thought-provoking ways:  the dark, slowly-twining-around-your-throat suspense, the emotional, life-altering-twisting-your-stomach suspense, and the well-known and loved physical-threat-to life-and-limb suspense.  And because I write romantic suspense, I'm also twining in the romantic conflict along the way. It's fun and challenging and when it all comes together, the result is priceless.

Joan's recommended read for August:

MARKED, by Elisabeth Naughton

THERON – Dark haired, duty bound and deceptively deadly. He’s the leader of the Argonauts, an elite group of guardians that defends the immortal realm from threats of the Underworld.
From the moment he walked into the club, Casey knew this guy was different. Men like that just didn’t exist in real life—silky shoulder-length hair, chest impossibly broad, and a predatory manner that just screamed dark and dangerous. He was looking for something. Her.

 

She was the one. She had the mark. Casey had to die so his kind could live, and it was Theron’s duty to bring her in. But even as a 200-year-old descendant of Hercules, he wasn’t strong enough to resist the pull in her fathomless eyes, to tear himself away from the heat of her body.

As war with the Underworld nears, someone will have to make the ultimate sacrifice.


Joan Swan is a triple RWA® Golden Heart finalist. She writes sexy romantic suspense with a paranormal twist, and her debut novel, FEVER, with Kensington Brava releases February 28, 2012. A second in the series, BLAZE, releases October, 2012. You can find Joan at her blog, One Word At A Time, her website or Twitter.


What do you think creates a suspenseful read?

 



All content copyright of the author. Please ask permission before re-printing or re-posting. Fair use quotations and links do no require prior consent of the author. ©Roni Loren 2009-2011 |Copyright Statement|

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>