How to Succeed at Writing Romantic Suspense
(....or maybe not...)
Clare London: This article is from eHow and How to Succeed in Writing Romantic Suspense... but the frivolous scarlet commentary is mine own :).
-Mum, did you make my sandwiches for lunch?
-Mum, why are you making that weird noise in the back of your throat?
-Mum, why are you clutching the bread knife so tightly?
Step 2: Create compelling characters. In order for your readers to care about (and buy) your writing, you need to craft heroes and villains that are more than just interesting: they need to compel your readers to pick the book up again and again until they finish it.
Your protagonists, on the other hand, need more than just some sparkling chemistry. Both romantic leads need a stake in the events of the plot, and should learn something about themselves through the course of the story and their interactions with one another.
-Until we faced this terrible danger together, I never realised...
-The irritation I always felt for you was really a manifestation of something far more tender...
-It was marvellous, the way you dealt with my murderous great-uncle by returning the puppy that had been stolen from him as a child...
-And I just hope that one day in the future, working together, maybe, just maybe...
-We'll beat this awful dependency you have on monosyllables.
-You go first. You've got the torch.
-No way. You've got the golf club. You go first. Just in case...
-Oh my God! Look, there! It's coming right for us!
-Can you hear me? Where are you? My God, are you okay? Everything's so dark. I can hear a terrible, pained whimpering...
-You're standing on my foot. Turn the torch back on and give me that golf club.
-For the ravening ghostly beast...?
-Oh no, I need it for something much closer to home. Now you're standing on my other foot.
-You know, now we're facing such terrible danger with no way of calling for help, it gives me the chance to ...
-All these years. You and me...
-Hurry up, you've chosen a hell of a time to start declaring ... what?
-Don't rush me.
-With seconds of air left in the room? With wolves baying in the woods outside? With the scythe on a flimsy thread, straining above our heads? You think there's time for this?
-Why are you being so defensive?
-Why are you being so obtuse?
-You must know how I feel about you...
-Well, no I don't. And you know why?
-No need to get tetchy...
-Because you never damn well said.
-Pass me the mobile phone, I'll call your mother to come and get us.
Step 5: Give your readers a conclusive and satisfying ending that will leave them feeling good about what they've just read. Provide a satisfying ending for the love story: "happily ever after" is considered the standard. And put the bad guys away; whether you put them in the ground or behind bars, you need to leave your readers with the impression that the heroes defeated them.
-So when did you suspect the man in the dark suit?
-Don't worry your pretty little head about it. You're safe now.
-No, actually, I'd like to know.
-Um... that's for me to know...
-You mean, it was just a guess, wasn't it?
-Please. I'm a professional.
-You're a man 8 years older than me, 6 inches taller, and with brooding good looks. Your qualifications are for a romantic suspense trope, not police work.
-Where are you going?
-To fill in the paperwork. See justice done. Tie up the loose ends in the plot.
-Will you still marry me?
-Read the last chapter. I'll get back to you on that.
Thanks to eHow and How to Succeed in Writing Romantic Suspense...
but I think I need a little more more work :).
picture credits: Gone With the Wind, On the Run in NYC photo by Norman Parkinson.
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