Running into a Brick Wall

HURTS!

Ever try it?

Well, me neither. I don’t capriciously go around slamming myself into things. I guess I’m talking about a mental wall. Oh, yeah. The WIP is whipping my butt.

I know. I can complain about being a writer sometimes. Hey, it’s not easy, but this, well, this is getting my goat, kicking my butt, and every other euphemism for failing to produce. Muse? Pfff. What muse? I should be able to do this. It’s my job. BUT

I don’t think I’m good at suspense. There I said it. I could be digging myselfย a big ol’ hole, lying down and waiting for the dirt to rain down on me because I’m in over my head on this one. Help!

Here’s the thing. I don’t want it to be stupid. I don’t want the reader to guess the perp. And I don’t want my undercover nanny and the detective doing things a former FBI agent and savvy former pathologist tough guy wouldn’t do. I talked to a detective with the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s office and the poor guy said I could send him a list of questions, but really, can he just write the book for me? LOL. I’ve never really studied the structure of suspense books. For some reason they elude me. Not the book. The writing of the book. How does Stephen King do it? Or James Patterson. Maybe I should call Dean Koontz and get some tips. Think he’d take my call?

So in honor of sucking at suspense, how about y’all tell me what your favorite suspenseful book or movie is, and why it works so well for you. Maybe your thoughts will jog something for me and cause a lightbulb to go off.

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6 Responses

  1. Running into things is my specialty! LOL And suspense is my all time favorite. I can’t write a simple love story. Someone always ends up getting murdered. ๐Ÿ™‚ My favorite suspense authors: Lisa Jackson, Brenda Novak, Kay Hooper, Roxanne St. Claire (Her Bullet Chaser series is awesome), Linda Howard.(White Lies is a great one to start with. Quick read, but awesome plot and characters) I could go on forever. Oh, and movie! Romancing the Stone!! Feel free to email me if you need some inspiration. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Thanks, Melissa. It’s just a different beast for me. I’ve tried breaking down things like Cold Case, Law and Order, etc and studying how they piece things together, but I can’t seem to get it to translate to my wip. My main problem is having my heroine being a suspect, but finding little to make her suspicious. Ugh. Okay, off to work on it. I’ll check back later for more advice.

    PS – I started an Annie Solomon book last night. We’ll see if she can inspire me.

  3. If you are a plotter like me, have you ever used the “what if” technique? That usually works really well for creating suspense with your characters and the readers. I’m not sure if you are familiar with it, but it works wonders for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Perhaps a little of that is in order. For me it’s the details that are killing me, aka, the research. I don’t know much about criminal investigations so knowing how the police would handle something has been tough. I have a list of questions in with a detective right now. When I get those back, maybe it will be easier.

    Thanks!

  5. anything by Cindy Gerard and watch every episode of Scooby Doo.

    you may think I’m kidding, but seriously, go on a Scooby binge during the day. pay attention to how they layer in the clues and implant the redherrings.

    and the research–ugh. the research is currently stalling me on one of mine. think I finally found a specialist to help me out. (crossing fingers) told the dh last night I was getting to the point (aka, upcoming deadline!) that I was just going to write the darn thing, flub my way through and tweak the facts in edits.

  6. Zoinks! I may try it. LOL.

    ANd what kind of specialist to you enlist for erotic romance? Hmmm? ๐Ÿ™‚ Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    I’ll try Cindy Gerard. Love her in person. Bet I’ll love her writing too.

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