Friday, March 10, 2017

Ten ways to add mystery and suspense in your writing

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There are several tools writers use to create the suspense that pulls a reader into a story and makes them want to follow our protagonist on his or her journey. Today, I thought I'd share ten techniques sure to help you add intrigue and mystery to your writing.

1. Get your characters in trouble! Be ruthless. Think of the worst thing that could happen to them and let them figure out a solution.

2. Let your character take the easy way out of a situation only to find that he's made matters worse, or that he just survived the calm before the storm.

3. Do a slow reveal or include a familiar item that keeps showing up.

4. Allow the reader to know something the main character doesn't.  If the reader knows that there is a lion behind the door our beloved main character so desperately wants to open the reader will be holding his or her breath each time that character gets close to the door.

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5. Create a deadline: countdown to D-day.

6. Build anxiety by using short clipped sentences. Introduce doubt or have a plan fall through.

7. Let your character get close to what she's been hoping for—maybe the first kiss with the totally hot guy—and then the moment slips away or all hell breaks loose.

8. Add intriguing chapter titles.

9. End each chapter in a way that keeps the reader from inserting a bookmark.
10. Cut the action early, forcing the reader to worry about what's going to happen next.

The next time you're writing, give one or more of these techniques a try!

Share your tips in the comments. :)

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Take 2: Reworking an Old Story #IWSG

Hi, everyone.

It's time to share our thoughts, insecurities, and encouraging words. Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and our co-hosts Tamara NarayanPatsy Collins,  M.J. Fifield,  Nicohle Christopherson for keeping IWSG going. Not a member? Want to know more about the group? Click here

March IWSG Day Question: 
Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

Yes! I'm working on it now. So far, I think it's working.  :)

Today I thought I'd share some encouraging words from professionals in the business that I picked up from writing conferences I've attended. 

“What would ten-year-old Tony want that old Tony can now make?” –Tony Diterlizzi

“A book becomes timeless when a story captures a moment of intimacy between author and reader.” – Arthur Levine

“There are no shortcuts. Slow down. Focus on what you can control.” – Steven Malk

How are you doing? Any insecurities? Have you reworked an old story? Any encouraging words to share?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Reading will never be the same #IWSG

Hi, everyone.

Welcome to my IWSG post. It's where writers share their thoughts, insecurities, and encouraging words. Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and our co-hosts for keeping IWSG going.  Click here to learn more about the group. Co-Hosts this month: Misha GerickeLK HillJuneta KeyJoylene Buter.

I'm doing okay with my insecurities, which I shoved in a box at the end of 2016. I haven't had time to open it, which is okay by me. Since my insecurities are tucked away, I thought I'd share some inspiration instead. So the next time you're feeling insecure remember:

Believe in yourself. 
Appreciate your unique perspective.
Write what speaks to you.
First drafts don't have to be perfect.

February's question:

How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader? 

I've always been a finicky reader. A book has to hook me with beautiful writing, relatable characters, or a kick ass plot. That hasn't changed. What has changed is that I'm more aware of a story's mechanics. This can be a good thing and a bad thing. When a book is well-written, I'm not only engaged by the plot, but I find myself paying attention to how the author puts together her prose, describes scenes, weaves together plot lines, builds worlds, and creates intriguing characters. The bad is that I notice when these things are missing from a book. I'm pulled out of the story. If it keeps happening, I end up putting down the book.

In other news:

Chris Fey has a copy of 
Seismic Crimes up for grabs. Click here to learn more about her exciting new book and to enter the giveaway.

Any words of inspiration you'd like to share? Are you a writer? Has being one changed your experience as a reader? Have you checked out Tsunami Crimes? 

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 27, 2017

TSUNAMI CRIMES by Chris Fey Blog Tour and Giveaway

Welcome to my stop in the TSUNAMI CRIMES blog tour. 

Chrys Fey was kind enough to answer a question about her book and share a teaser with us. Be sure to check them out and enter the giveaway. 

My question for Chrys: What was your favorite part to write in Tsunami Crimes?

Chrys's answer: While the tsunami and kidnapping scenes were the most exciting to write, and surprisingly the easiest, my favorite scene wasn’t even in the final draft of my book when I submitted it to my editor. Actually, I wrote it because my editor gave me the idea. At the end of a chapter, I had Donovan tell Beth they were going out for a romantic dinner in Hawaii. I skipped that scene, though, because I felt it wouldn’t add anything to the story. But my editor offered an idea: What about a luau?

The moment she said that, I hit myself in the head. Duh! Beth and Donovan are in Hawaii, and I hadn’t even considered sending them to a luau. I wrote the short, fun luau scene that leads to a romantic moment that’s quite sexy, which has to do with hula dancing. *wink*


Hula dancers in bright bikini tops took the stage next. Their grass skirts were low on their hips. Leaves adorned their ankles and wrists. Beth turned and covered Donovan’s eyes. He chuckled, and she laughed along with him. He put his arms around her, and they watched the dancers perform with Uli’Uli rattles made of gourds and red and yellow feathers. The sound of the seeds shaking inside them and the movement of the dancers’ hips was hypnotizing. Donovan couldn’t deny it. After their dance concluded, they invited audience members to join them on the stage. Donovan brought his mouth to Beth’s ear. “You should go up there.”

She rotated around. Firelight reflected in her wide eyes. “Are you crazy?”

“No. I’ve seen you move your hips before.” He winked at her.

She fought not to smile as she twisted her lips to the side. “Fine, but you better record it on your phone, because I won’t do it again.” 


Beth and Donovan have come a long way from Hurricane Sabrina and the San Francisco earthquake. Now they are approaching their wedding day and anxiously waiting to promise each other a lifetime of love. The journey down the aisle isn’t smooth, though, as they receive threats from the followers of the notorious criminal, Jackson Storm. They think they’ll be safe in Hawaii, but distance can’t stop these killers. Not even a tsunami can.

This monstrous wave is the most devastating disaster Beth has ever faced. It leaves her beaten, frightened. Is she a widow on her honeymoon? As she struggles to hold herself together and find Donovan, she’s kidnapped by Jackson's men.

Fearing her dead, Donovan searches the rubble and shelters with no luck. The thought of her being swept out to sea is almost too much for him to bear, but the reality is much worse. She’s being used as bait to get him to fall into a deadly trap. If they live through this disaster, they may never be the same again.

On SALE for $2.99! 


P.S. Hurricane Crimes and Seismic Crimes are on sale for 99 Cents!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author:
Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series. She is a blogger, reader, auntie, vegetarian, and cat Lover. Get Lightning Crimes (Disaster Crimes 2.5) for FREE!


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Do you break the rules? #IWSG #amwriting

Happy New Year! 
Here's wishing us all a wonderful 2017.

The past couple of years have been trying, so my hope for 2017 is that it's a happy year for us all. My goal this year is to get out more. To explore, to hike, to bike ride, and of course to keep writing and to find a home for my finished novels. I have a couple that I'm extremely excited about and that I'd like to share with readers everywhere.

This month's question: What writing rule do you wish you'd never heard?

This is a hard one for me. When I started writing, I hadn't known the "rules". Then I joined a writing group and found out I broke several rules. I revised and tweaked to conform. Then learned that it's okay to break the rules if it's important to the story. So there isn't one rule that I wish I had never heard. I'm just glad I became comfortable enough in my writing abilities to break the ones that aren't working for a particular story.

How about you? Is there a rule you wish you never heard? Any goals for 2017? 

This has been an Insecure Writer's Support Group post. It's where writers share their thoughts, insecurities, and encouraging words. Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and our co-hosts for keeping IWSG going. If you would like to know more about the group, just follow the link above. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Fast Forward Five Years #IWSG

Hi everyone!

It's time to share our thoughts, insecurities, and encouraging words. Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and our co-hosts for keeping IWSG going. Not a member? Want to know more about the group? Click here

The first Wednesday of December snuck up on me. Things are busy right now, so I just don't have time for insecurities. I've shoved them in a box to be open... well, maybe I'll leave them there.

December's question of the month:

In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?

Easy. Still dreaming up new stories and sharing them with readers. To get there I plan to keep writing. How about you?

Have a safe and happy holiday season!

My Christmas village, 2016

Enjoy the holidays!