The week has flown! I guess it’s the end of term for us teachers and things become a little more frenetic, trying to tie up loose ends in the teaching program and running out of time to do it!
So too with my writing, I am submitting my Simon Goes to Spain novel to the Ampersand Project this weekend, so I have been busy reviewing and editing. Trouble is I keep changing things, especially the beginning, which means more editing. I guess I am just going to have to let it go, as I don’t want to submit at the last minute in case there is a technical malfunction similar to the submission for the Varuna Residential submission.
As for my Living in London blog novel, I am working on adding suspense to my writing and after some research realize my plot was aiming for mystery! Apparently the difference between mystery and suspense is all in the identity of the protagonist. Mystery does not give the identity of the protagonist where suspense does! I had originally written the chapter where the protagonist makes his move and gave his identity, but then removed his identity thinking this was giving away the story. I have since given him back his identity and will aim for suspense.
I found a number of good websites that dealt with writing suspense, the first, the Readers Digest site which in true Readers Digest style summarises into nine steps how to write a suspense novel; www.writersdigest.com/qp7…/nine-tricks-to-writing–suspense-fiction.
Ian Irvine outlines 41+ steps to writing suspense, where the Science Fiction Writer’s of America give a series of articles that thoroughly explore problem, character, plot and structure in suspense writing; http://www.sfwa.org/2010/12/key-conditions-for-suspense/
I was inspired to writing suspense by Bryce Courtenay, who uses it to good effect in his writing. Obviously his books are not seen as suspense but there are many scenes where he includes it. After finishing The Potato Factory, I couldn’t put down the book so began to read another Bryce Courtenay, April Fool’s Day. A good example of the suspense Bryce includes in his books is a scene in April Fool’s Day, is early in the book when he is at a wedding. During the latter parts of the wedding he has a premonition that his infant son is close to death in his crib, he rushes home despite his wife’s protestations and much to her despair and embarrassment. As a reader you are dragged along with Bryce’s verbosity in his detailing of the ensuing events of his return home. You sit holding your breath whilst reading and hoping that his premonition is false a side effect of the alcohol he has had, as his wife accused him of.
If I can emulate a little bit of suspense in the following chapters of the novel on my blog, I will be satisfied at this stage of my writing. Let me know how you think it is going.