I’m reading Chuck Wendig’s book on writing, CONFESSIONS OF A FREELANCE PENMONKEY, and it’s not only chock full of good writing tips but is also very entertaining. He has a flair for metaphor and colorful language, so be warned. But, I absolutely love Chuck Wendig, he is irreverent and cheeky and is genuinely funny. One of the things I’ve plucked out of the reading is something I didn’t really have in mind when writing the book, but I think it’s instrumental in creating a story that is engrossing and something that will draw the reader to the next page. That something is tension, or more precisely, building the tension.
It should start out slow but the tension should build incrementally to a simmering boil until the climax where it should … climax. I’ve made some notes and know where I need to work it in. It shouldn’t hit you in the face, but be a subtle increase until you can feel it as the reader.
I’ve also been thinking about the follow-on stories. Once I print this, I can’t really go back and change it to make it fit the story arc better (well I could if I self-pub this but that is not how I’m going to roll), so I’m trying to figure that stuff out now so I can bring in some foreshadowing or more importantly make sure the right characters are following a story arc. I’m not an outliner normally but I can definitely see the need for it, especially for a series of books where you have overlapping characters and an overarching story arc that needs to be built in. I’m making progress on both fronts, revising/editing and developing the plotline for books two and three. There’s lots of lines of backstory on the cutting room floor.