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Monday, May 12, 2008

How To Write Attention Grabbing Fiction

Have a question? Agree, disagree, with me?
Leave me your opinion.

There exists more than one factor to writing interesting
fiction. Fiction leans toward the imaginary, invented,
made-up, and inspired. Of course, writers want to
entertain, and invoke the reader's emotions. Hopefully,
the reader becomes involved, and puts the story
down after the last page has been read.

A key to writing fiction well, in my opinion, is plenty
of suspense.

Suspense is indecision, doubt, knowing something
is going to happen, awaiting, and anxiety.

It doesn't matter if you're writing a mystery,
romance, or science fiction. Suspense pulls the
reader in the story. Begin suspense with
paragraph one.

Start the story in the middle of a crisis, problem.
This is where the reader's attention is grabbed.
He/she has something to be concerned about,
wants to know how a character(s) will resolve the
issue. Perhaps, the reader identifies with a
character, knows someone in a similar situation,
is cheering for the protagonist, and/or is gripped
by the plot.

Plot is the problem in the story, and how it unfolds.

The pages of a story should have something new,
exciting, or, even, a threat of an approaching doom.

"Do you ever pause?" Someone asked.

Yes, there are brief pauses. The idea is to keep
the reader buried in suspense.

Take a look at my example.

I opened the front door, heard my cousin

"Pete!" I shouted. "What's goin' on?"

"Call..." He fell on the cement steps before

The strange man started toward me...


How would you have started the first
sentence? Could it be laced with more
suspense? Would you continue to read
the story?

In short fiction, there's a concern for space,
word count. Publishers adhere to a
specific number of words, and so should

One problem is enough for short fiction.
In longer fiction, more than one issue is

Make every word earn its place. Every,
suspenseful, word should move the story
forward, not just take up space. Words
holding up valuable space must be

It's been my practice to keep cut lines,
paragraphs. They can be re-worked,
placed somewhere else, spark a new
idea, and a tool against writer's block.

The more you write, the easier it will be
to include that major factor, suspense.

Take a look at the following.

"'Member our dare?" Barb asked.

"Don't think it's a good idea." Tish
dropped her hand.

"Ya shoulda thought 'bout that before
sayin' crap 'bout bein' as tough as me."

"Was a joke."

"Be there, or..."

"You'll harass me?" Tish interrupted Barb.

"Tell everyone ya're a punk.

"I'll be there."

Do you get the feeling the dare isn't something
positive, upbeat? Could be dangerous? Are
you curious about it? Are you pulled in the story?

Fiction is written well when its smeared with
suspense, on practically every page. A grammatically
correct story is boring without suspense. Suspense
is the, must include, factor a story can't do without.
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Marcella Glenn is a freelance writer who has written news reports, worked in an office, reviewed movies, published a newsletter and had her novel, "Grave Street House," published. She, too, is a Writing Consultant as well as a Personal Coach.

She has tried to go down some of life's other paths. A few paths were a mail-order business, the publishing of a pen-pal newsletter and selling plastic-ware. Only, she was back writing before realizing what she was doing.

She'd critique titles, paragraphs, news reports, that no one submitted to her. She'd stop herself, eventually. Marcella Glenn seemed to be enjoying the act of writing. This is how she knew writing was more than a hobby.

Let it be a lesson in your life too. Is writing calling your name? Or, acting? Teaching? Are you interested in engineering? Have the courage to go for your dreams. Simply, believe in yourself.

Meet Marcella Glenn on Twitter:

Grave Street House Interview
Authors Show Radio Announces Interview Lineup For Week Of February 16, 2009
Internet Radio features five new authors each week
February 16, 2009
Every week, The Authors Show, radio version features interviews with up and coming authors from around the world. This week The Authors Show radio features Marcella Glenn, author of  'Grave Street House'.

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