Friday, April 27, 2012


Suspense - keeping the reader on the edge of their seat. Techniques for building suspense takes practice, loads of reading and is developed over time as the writer learns their craft.
The Dean Koontz Companion has some interesting points to make on suspense:

Suspense in fiction results primarily from the reader's identification with and concern about lead characters who are complex, convincing and appealing. Anticipation of violence is infinitely more suspenseful than the violence itself.
Style is as important as good characterization and anticipation. As the anticipation sequence builds towards the moment of violence or the dreaded encounter, the writer sometimes will employ more short sentences, simpler words, shorter clauses and phrases - all of which give the reader a sense of headlong, hellbent forward motion.
Suspense cannot be created in a vacuum. It is generated only as a by-product of good characterization, good pacing, an awareness of the value of anticipation as a prelude to action, strong stylistic control, and an ability - and willingness - to write complex characters and complex scenes that encourages the reader to suspend his disbelief and enter fully into the world of make-believe.

Authors who I believe have mastered the art of suspense and keep me on the edge of my seat are Dean Koontz and Stephen King.

Keep writing....

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I've been wanting to read Stephen King's, From a Buick 8, for some time time now. It did not disappoint. As a writer, a particular paragraph grabbed my attention:-

"Tell me everything. But - this is important - tell me a story, one that has a beginning and a middle and an end where everything is explained. Because I deserve that. Don't shake the rattle of your ambiguity in my face. I deny its place. I repudiate its claim. I want a story."

Keep writing....

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


The Australian Pocket Oxford Dictionary defines 'bookworm' as 'consuming maggot, great reader'. I choose to apply the second definition to myself. Over the last few months I have read piles of books. The genres range from contemporary, thrillers, suspense, crime, paranormal, horrow, sci-fi to erotic fiction. At first guilt set in. Was all this reading a form of procrastination? Was I neglecting my writing? No. Absolutely not. I came to the conclusion that I was doing research - to become a better writer! I made a point of being aware of the various styles of writing used by the authors. The way they employed the use of their craft and what made their novels popular.

Settings - extraordinary worlds (supernatural, paranormal and sci-fi) were made real and believable by the successful use of conflict and resolution, descriptions, emotions, identifying in some way to the characters; their hardships, their hopes and their dreams. I was cheering for the good guys to defeat those darker elements.

Point of View - it was interesting for me to take note of how POV was used in the various novels:-

* One POV throughout the novel.
* One POV with some chapters past tense and some present tense.
* One main POV combined with other chapters focusing on   
   different POV's.
* Two POV's in same chapter. (Something I wouldn't consider
   doing but was pleasantly surprised how the author pulled it off.)

Balance - I found a good balance when reading the intense novels. The suspence and 'thriller' aspect was there, but the right ingredients of humour and sometimes even romance topped it off nicely for me.

I've been enjoying my role as a Bookworm. Reading as a writer. Researching what makes a publishable novel. Learning about various styles and how to piece together a successful plot. Being aware of the structure of a story.

Reading is a great way to relax and escape. Reading also helps us to become better writers!

Keep writing.... and reading.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I remember as a kid standing in the library in awe. In that moment I knew what I wanted; to see my novel on those shelves. Now all these years later I'm in. Dream Keeper is on the library shelf. Mission accomplished! :-)

Novel marketing is not one of my favourite things; I'm more an introvert than an extrovert. I took a teaspoon of cement (to harden up) and approached That's Life magazine offering copies of Dream Keeper as prizes. They have kindly accepted my offer which will be happening as an online promotion in the near future.

I'm going well writing articles. The Fellowship of Australian Writers have accepted and published five in a row. The state president of FAW NSW also will be reviewing Dream Keeper in an upcoming issue. I'm hoping this helps with sales.

So far this year I've managed to accomplish another goal and broke into the overseas markets with short story sales in the UK and SA.

As we all know with writing it's not all good news. (We wish.)The rejections, lack of motivation, inspiration and procrastination at times can be very draining. TL mag here in Australia - my favourite mag who have published the bulk of my short stories in the past (my very first short story sale to them in 1994) - haven't bought a story from me in almost a year! This concerns me, big time, as over here it is the only paying short story mag market. Why? Why? Why? I don't know.

I've submitted a huge stack of short stories, both revamped and new to various publishers and now I play the game that none of us like to play - the waiting game.

My other two novel manuscripts sit in a publisher's email box waiting to be reviewed. Apparently if they do not contact me within three months of submission I am to assume that they have decided not to pursue my manuscripts. I have two months to go. Fingers and everything else crossed for me please.

I've read a couple of blogs on the topic of increased postage costs. I can't help but wonder why in this day and age of modern technology there still are mags/publishers who only accept submissions via post. Why is that? Can anyone enlighten me?

So, in my writing world I have concluded I am doing all I can, and while I wait and live in hope, I write.

Keep writing....