Your novel needs to be made up of a series of big moments, called story points, joined together by slightly quieter sections.
Tip 19 – Pause and Take a Deep Breath
Let’s say your young hero has just foiled an attempt to kidnap his alien friend who has special powers. Good guys want his friend to save the earth; bad guys want to use him to take over the world. The kidnap attempt and the hero’s actions in foiling it are a story point; your readers will now need a short break before the next story point.
It’s a good idea to allow a pause and deep breath before sending the hero, and your readers, off on the next part of the adventure.
This way of playing cat and mouse with the readers heightens the tension and keeps them on the edge of their seats. Because the story goes up and down like a roller coaster, your readers will never be able to anticipate what happens next.
Some ways to use story points
- Throw in surprises and take your hero off in a totally unexpected direction.
- Have the reader feel that all is well, only to find danger coming from an unlikely source.
- Keep the readers guessing. Drip feed little bits of information that make your readers wonder if all is as it seems.
- Have them desperate to find out what happens next by leaving your heroine in the middle of a story point and then going to a part of the story that is nothing to do with the crisis you’ve just described.
- Pose a mystery. Give enough information for your readers to know something mysterious is afoot, but not enough for them to know what it is.
Critique Service for Writers
Flash 500 Home Page: Flash Fiction, Humour Verse
and Novel Opening Chapter and Synopsis Competitions