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Hook – How many are too many?

During an online class I recently taught on plotting, one of the participants asked this question. Participant: I am working with two hooks in my beginning. Are there some guidelines about multi-hooks? They tag the two action lines running through the story — one personal, one professional. I would love some insight into it working well and […]

Grabbing Readers And Hanging On

Authors use all kinds of phrase that means the same thing. Grab the reader, hook the reader, create a page-turner, or write a keeper. Obviously all of these phrase mean an author wants to engage readers to the point that they can’t put down the book and once it’s finished, they can’t let it go. […]

Conflicts, hooks, characterization in a novel?

Another new author asked a very complex question about conflicts and hooks when the novel isn’t a suspense.. Most of you know the importance of conflicts and hooks in any kind of novel, but here was my response to her question—both an explanation and advice. Gail said:Your questions are so complex I’d have to write workshops for […]

Question: How Do You Create A Rough Plot Outine?

Numerous questions were asked by writers in my online course in January.  I wanted to share this one with you.My question is this: Do I start with a rough outline of scenes, using the checklist to insure the scene is driving the story, then go onto adding in sequels and plotting hooks? My response:  I […]

Part VII Suspense – Setting and Atmosphere

Besides a sense of place, the right kind of setting offers the reader an atmosphere conducive to creating tension. Certain settings bring established mental images of frightening settings or ones open to danger. Think of a rundown farmhouse, a lonely cabin in the woods, a Gothic mansion, a hospital ship, an abandoned building, a park […]

Tension And Conflict – Part I

The Set Up to Tension and ConflictI recently presented a workshop on tension and conflict. The topic offers many steps to writing a good novel. I began this workshop with the basic elements needed to begin a novel because it sets up how conflict begins. Conflict is a concept you know is vital to any […]