Monday, November 05, 2012

Monday Mystery-How to build suspense in any story.

Sorry all. Had company over the weekend and my Mayan Moon Blog Tour started yesterday. I'd love to have you follow the tour or at least stop in here or there and leave a comment. I'm giving a prize at every stop and to the person who follows me to the most blogs and to the host who has the most people comment.

Plus, you'll learn all about how I wrote my first Action Adventure Romance and perhaps learn a bit about the mystery hidden in the story. You can find the places I'll be on the side bar.

Have you notice in nearly any fiction story you read there is a hint of mystery?  Even children's stories there is a "What if" that keeps the reader in suspense to learn what is going to happen or how. I have a short story I use when teaching 4th graders how to put together a picture book for our local writing group's 4th grade picture book contest. The story goes like this:

Marcie couldn't believe what she saw!
It was a large, orange elephant in the sky.
Marcie jumped, but she couldn't quite grasp the green ribbon tied to the balloon.
Running down the street, she spotted a pile of boxes.\
She climbed up on the boxes, but just then a truck went by and the balloon drifted higher into the sky.
The green string caught on the side of a building.
Marcie looked around and spied Mr. Harper's step stool in front of his store window.
She asked to borrow the step stool. Mr Harper had to think about it and finally agreed.
She folded the stool and hurried to the side of the building,. Just as she pulled the steps down a bird tried to land on the balloon. The string came loose and the balloon drifted down the street.
Marcie rushed the stool back to Mr. Harper and ran down the street following the large, orange elephant.
Marcie sat down on the step outside her house and caught her breath. She'd chased the balloon all the way to Mrs. Morton's house.
And now the balloon was caught in the neighbor's tree.
Her father came home, looked at the tree, and said, "Did this balloon follow you home?" He grasped the green ribbon and handed Marcie the large, orange elephant balloon.

This short little children's story shows the way to keep the suspense growing by all her near misses of getting the balloon. That's what a good mystery story or any story should do. Keep the reader wondering if the main character(s) will get what they are after or in the case of a mystery/crime solve them.  While there isn't a true black moment like you want in an adult book or suspense, the end it does have a satisfying ending. That is what you want in all your stories so the reader walks away not only thinking of the story and characters but satisfied with how the story ended.

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