Thursday, July 27, 2006

Flat line...

“The hardest part of writing a novel is structuring the story in order to maintain suspense from beginning to end. I try to avoid a "flat line." If you were to diagram the pacing of the story, it has to continually rise — propelling the reader forward. The same principle is true whether writing for children or writing for adults.”

--Frank Peretti, Breakaway Magazine,

Tricia’s Thoughts:
Diagramming the plot is something both Frank Peretti and I agree on. When I’m plotting my novels, I always think, “What’s the worse thing that could happen now?” After that I think, “What can make it even worse?” This is an easy way to keep the pacing on a continually rise and produce a story that readers can’t put down.


Blogger Jim Thompson said...

I understand the idea of building suspense in one of the genres that use it, but what about "literary" works that build the story on temperamental interplay between characters, rather than overt conflict?

6:59 PM  
Blogger Tricia Goyer said...

I think the same "heightened tension" can happen with internal conflict rather than external. Just as long as the read questions how things could possible work out . . . and turns the page to find out!

10:50 AM  

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