Thursday, May 17, 2012

Suspense Fiction - Tips On Writing a Great Novel

When I find a blog post that offers great advice, I like to share it. The post titled Ten Rules for Suspense Fiction by Brian Garfield interested me simce I enjoy writing romantic suspense, and I found the ten tips ones that would be meaningful to any of you who are writing suspense of any kind.

This article was published twice in Writers Digest and the footnote revealed this information. "In 1994, John Grisham revealed to Newsweek that he credited the following article by Brian Garfield with giving him the tools to create his ground-breaking thriller, The Firm, as well as subsequent books. Garfield himself is a noted bestselling novelist, as well as a screenwriter, producer, and nonfiction writer. He won the Edgar Award for Hopscotch, which was made into the prize-winning movie of the same name, starring Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson."

If  Grisham found it helpful, most authors can benefit. Here is the First Tip.

Start with action; explain it later.

This is an extension of Raymond Chandler's famous dictum: When things slow down, bring in a man with a gun. To encourage the reader to turn to page 2, give him something on page 1--conflict, trouble, fear, violence.

I realize you've got a lot of background that needs to be established, leading up to the first moments of overt conflict, but you can establish all that in chapter 2. Flash back to it if you need to. But in Chapter 1, get the show on the road.

To read the full article go to I'm sure you won't be sorry.

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