Four Ways to Build Suspense in Your Novel

For many writers and readers, the suspense is a genre. However, it is also a key element in all stories—if you want your readers to keep reading, that is.

Tools for creating suspense belong in every writer’s toolkit because they help arouse expectation or uncertainty about what’s going to happen.

And that worry pulls readers deeper into your story, whether it’s fantasy, thriller, science-fiction, literary fiction or any other genre.

Below are four ways to help add suspense to your novel, no matter where you’re at in the writing process, from drafting to the fourth round of editing (like me).

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Four Ways to Foreshadow in Your Story

Most of the feedback from my novel, A Time of Stones, was that most of the conclusive moments were random and did not prepare the reader for what happened.

At the time of writing and editing, it seemed to make sense but as I read over it after the feedback – there was no foreshadowing weaved throughout the story of the main plot. It was like a lightbulb struck the dark room.

Has anyone else encountered the same problem?

As I edit my novel for the fourth time, I realize that foreshadowing is like the secret ingredient that helps your writing make sense. It’s often apparent only after readers reach the big event you’ve been prepping them for and a few little clues along the way will prime the pump for your novel’s most critical plot points.

For those still struggling with foreshadowing – here are four tips to help you foreshadow in your story.

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#FridayReads Challenge

Last year on my Goodreads account, I completed a reading challenge.

On a recent post, I shared my yearly #Fridayreads Challenge. I accepted and nominated eight books. I thought, if I at least set an achievable goal, it will motivate me to read more, however the eight books I chose were at least 700 pages long. In between the series I read short stories, poems and alot of articles on the craft of writing but I didn’t add those to my Goodreads challenge as they are alot shorter in length.

It has taken me awhile to complete the Memory, Thorn and Sorrow series by Tad Williams, but I did it. I highly recommend it for everybody who loves epic fantasy to read Tad Williams books.

What are you reading this week?

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Writing in Twenty-Nineteen

Happy New Year! Yes I know I am nine days overdue but it has been an eventful start to the new year.

As we finish rinsing our champagne glasses and packing away our decorations, our focus turns to the year ahead. So here’s the big question:

What are your writing ambitions for the next 12 months?

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Five Ways to Master The Character Arc

What is a character arc?

“A character arc is the transformation or inner journey of a character over the course of a story. If a story has a character arc, the character begins as one sort of person, and during the story, things happen which gradually transforms him or her into a different sort of person.”

As I close the third round of editing for my novel, A Time of Stones, I realize the importance of character arcs and how they drive the reader through the story and finishing the novel.

Here are five ways that will help you help you master your character’s arc.

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How To Keep Writing Through the Holidays

It’s that time of the week – Tuesday Discussion.

I haven’t done a Tuesday Discussion for a long time if you want to read over and contribute to the discussion on some of the previous posts, click the links below.

For those new to my blog, each week I pose a topic (relevant to my WIP) and try to unravel the mysteries and different perspectives of it. This week’s post is:

How do you keep writing through the holidays?

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How to Flesh Out the Antagonist

As I continue to add depth, magic, sparkle, flow, atmosphere, to my novel, A Time of Stones. I also work hard at eliminating the hackneyed, lazy forms of expression and concentrate on the settings and making my characters float up from the page.

At the moment, I am concentrating on: the antagonist.

Every protagonist needs a worthy opponent. When it comes to crafting the antagonist, it’s important to put just as much work into his backstory and motivations as you did for your hero.

Your protagonist needs a true challenge, and to be challenged, he/she needs an equal.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when writing the antagonist.

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Eight Ways To Create Your Characters Dialogue Distinctive

The last couple of posts have been revolved around supporting characters.

How to Create Supporting Characters

Five Rules for Writing a Large Cast of Characters

Whether it is a supporting or the main character, you need them to sound distinctive so the reader doesn’t get confused and know who is talking.

In an earlier post about dialogue, I pointed out that if your characters each have a distinct voice, you can get away with fewer dialogue tags. But how do you make them sound different from one another?

Here are eight things to consider when crafting distinctive dialogue.

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Five Rules for Writing a Large Cast of Characters

To continue the theme from my last post How to Create Supporting Characters.

Supporting characters are essential in moving the plot and expanding the protagonist to a three-dimensional character but creating a large cast of characters can be extremely hard.

Large casts are quite common and difficult. Once you start factoring in each character’s personal contribution to plot and theme it can be confusing.

So here are five rules for writing a large cast of characters. Continue reading

How to Create Supporting Characters

I have uploaded many posts on how writers and authors should create a well rounded protagonist but I have done little focus on the supporting characters.

I believe supporting characters make a novel feel like real life. In life, we have that crazy friend, or we see strange and interesting passersby. Nobody is exactly the same. Everyone has a story. Even if we only interact with someone for a short time, that person is unique. Supporting characters should function similarly in a novel. However, unlike real life, in a novel, any character you introduce should play a distinct role.

Here are my best tips for writing supporting characters.

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