Thursday Book Feature: Mastering Suspense, Plot, and Structure

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Mastering Suspense, Plot, and Structure

By Jane Cleland

Copyright 2016

 

From the award-winning author of the Josie Prescott Antique Mystery series comes a how-to manual on creating gripping stories that leave readers on the edges of their seats. Jane Cleland provides what she calls a road map on working suspense and other elements of fiction into a story. Assuming you’re already working on a novel, each chapter offers an exercise to help you apply what you’ve learned to your own work. At the end, she emphasizes that if you follow her instructions, you’ll write books that sell and are loved.

At first, I was skeptical when one of my writing groups decided to read this book and do the exercises, sharing the fruits of our labors to our email list. I don’t read or write thrillers or mysteries or any kind of book with a lot of suspense. Once I got into it though, to my surprise, I found myself applying what I’d learned to my own novel, The Red Dress, which is now in the hands of the publisher, DLD Books. Jane Cleland’s methods can also be applied to short stories. So, if you like to write fiction and are looking for ways to improve in this genre, I definitely recommend this book.

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

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Like me on Facebook.

 

David’s Liberation Day

Ten years ago on May 19th, David Dvorkin was laid off from his job as a senior technical writer at a big company. Little did he know then that in ten years, he and his wife would have a thriving business, a business that has helped me and other authors publish their books.

http://denverspanishtutor.blogspot.com/2019/05/david-liberation-day-10may-19-2019.html

Seven Deadly Sins I Learned in My Youth (Poetry)

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.It’s wrong to ask someone for help.
You should never ever play with matches.
You shouldn’t let people see your underwear.
Don’t spit food out of your mouth.
Don’t throw up all over the floor.
Don’t say, “damn,” “shit,” “fuck,” or “hell.”
Don’t ever drink the water in Mexico.

***

Now it’s your turn. The above poem contains seven lines, each with seven words and is about seven things I learned not to do when I was growing up. Write your own such poem. It doesn’t have to be about seven deadly sins. It could be about seven favorite foods or songs. Please share your poem on your own blog or in the comment field below. I look forward to reading it.

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.

Monday Musical Memory: Song and Poem for Graduates

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.Today, I’m giving you a two-for-one special. Not only will I sing a song with a powerful message for graduates but I’ll also read a poem I wrote several years ago that I share with those in my life who are graduating. This year, my niece Ana in Florida and my cousin Darby in Colorado are graduating from high school and college respectively.

In The Sound of Music, the Reverend Mother sings this song to Maria, encouraging her to follow her heart. At the end, the song serves as a background for the family’s escape from Nazi-occupied Austria. When I was in fifth grade at the Arizona State School for the Deaf & Blind, I sang in the school choir, and we performed this song for the commencement ceremony at the end of the year. Ana, Darby, and anyone else graduating this year, this poem and song are for you.

Graduate

 

Go out into the world–never look back.
Reach for the top–always look forward.
Aim as high as you can.
Dream as big as possible.
Use your mind, heart, hands,
and know you can do anything.
Trust your instincts.
Energize your life.
***
What do you remember about graduation? Did you receive gifts from family and friends? Were you in the school choir that performed during the commencement ceremony? What song did the choir sing?

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.

Song Lyric Sunday | “Nightshift” – Commodores

I no longer participate in this challenge, but I can’t help re-blogging Felisha’s response to this week’s prompt, “time.” The song she’s featuring was popular when I was in college. It’s about being up all night, something I’ve never liked doing, even when I was in college. Maybe that’s why I decided to become a music therapist. They don’t usually work night shifts. Stay tuned tomorrow for more music and memories.

Nesie's Place

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

This week’s theme is  Dawn/Noon/Dusk/Midnight/Nocturnal/Diurnal.

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Written as a tribute to soul/R&B singers Jackie Wilson and Marvin Gaye, both of whom died in 1984, the Commodores released Nightshift on January 31, 1985.
It was the first and biggest hit by the group after Lionel Richie’s departure, peaking at number three on both the Billboard Hot 100 and UK Singles Chart, and rising to number one on the Hot Black Singles chart.
Although the band was against the label’s decision to release it as a single, it won a Grammy Award in 1985 for Best Vocal R&B Performance by a Duo/Group.
FUN FACTS:
  • The…

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