Rolling in the Deep

I got the latest edition of Writers Digest in the mail the other day, and there was an article in there called ‘6 Secrets to Creating and Sustaining Suspense’, by Steven James.  In it, James talks about including more promises to the reader.  In other words, allowing the anticipation of impending actions loom in the distance to heighten the suspense before delivering on the promise.  It’s not just about making stuff happen, it’s about keeping the reader worrying about what’s coming.  James’ notion that the promise to the reader isn’t just about the opening scene, it’s about all the scenes and all the actions.  So I started wondering if I’m doing that enough in my own work.   


I also read something recently which asked writers to consider what their readers want to have happen next.  That is also a sort of a promise.  If the reader wants the girl and the vampire to fall in love, the story better deliver it.  The challenge is to meet the promise, but do it in a way that defies what the reader expects will happen, yet exceeds the reader’s expectations. 


This is especially concerning for me as I near completion of the first hundred pages of GLAMOUR.  I’m starting to panic a little.  Well, maybe more than a little.  It feels like the story is getting away from me; like I’m losing my direction and focus.  I mean, I’m only a quarter of the way through the writing, but I’m two-thirds of the way through the story outline.  I mean, how could that happen?  At this rate, I’ll be done in another hundred pages or so. 


I’ve already started over once, and I’m satisfied with how the story is going, so I’m reluctant to start over again, and I don’t think I need to.  I think it’s time to revisit the outline with respect to the story I have so far and make sure I’ve made enough promises to the reader to keep them floundering in the deep end of the pool with my hero.   

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