Sunday, July 6, 2008

How to Avoid Writing the Climactic End in the Middle of the Book.

The novel I'm writing at the moment is a third-person endeavor which is considerably more down to earth than “Haley Cork and the Blue Door.” The fact that it takes place entirely on Earth and that the protagonist never actually sees the monster makes writing a young adult suspense story a little easier. There is only one problem about writing suspense, and I am only just discovering. You have to spend a whole lot more time fore shadowing before the big reveal. Hence the term Suspense. Three times already, I got impatient and dragged the monster into the scene and had to write the beast right out again, which is kind of like the poodle, who found the skunk, wanting to get back into the house. You feel sorry for the pooch, and let him come in, but the overwhelming odor makes you toss him right out again.

My monster, I took from American Indian legends. So, it wasn't really a good idea to give too many hints without revealing the whole show. I'm about halfway through fleshing out the book, and have only recently added the elements which will eventually be important for the final showdown. I still have to fight the urge to let the poor little monster in, but I think I can resist for a couple more weeks until I write the final set of scenes. The protagonist isn't a super-hero like Haley Cork, but he is tough in his own way, and has a singular charm which allows him to get away with more than anyone should ever really get away with.

While suspense isn't difficult to write, the restraint is probably the most important thing about the whole process. It's really very much what you don't write as much as it is what you do.

1 comment:

M. Andrew Sprong said...

I violated my own rule and wrote the end anyway. Oh well, rules are sometimes meant to be broken.