A month from today I will be in Atlanta for the National RWA ® Conference. It will be a long four weeks until then for me AND my co-workers who have informed me that I am driving them nuts! Now in my own defense, I am excited and I tend to be slightly manic. (OK followers, who also happen to be my co-workers, please stop laughing). The last few months have been a whirlwind of activity and I still have blogs to write, plans to make, things to pack, speeches to write…you get the idea. Each item builds the anticipation.
Story arcs are the same way. Each little conflict or plot twist increases the anticipation for the reader. If a character has a fear or hurdle that they need to overcome, they may do this in baby steps toward the end goal of the story – solving the murder, defeating the big bad, finally accepting they are in love and willing to fight for it. As readers, we need to see progress throughout the story or the change will feel too abrupt and not realistic, right? Good characters are layered and evolving, not a caricature of good and evil. We have all read stories where the ending reads false and often this has to do with the fact that there was no evolution DURING the story. I have to buy that the hero who hated the heroine in the beginning is now madly in love with her. What made him fall for her? Make it believable and the reader will root for both characters and their relationship.
So today is about building anticipation in writing. Now I have to find out a way to stop my co-workers from taping my mouth shut. Bribes? Chocolate may work…Any other ideas?