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May 21, 2012


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Is this Cliffhanger Day and no one told me? LOL I hope the guy didn't blow up AND I'm VERY VERY curious about your news!

Hmm..I'm often tempted by Door #3 because it is attractive as a stall tactic when I don't know what to do with the consequences of choosing option A or B. LOL So I'd leave the poor guy with his foot on the land mine and go to a flashback earlier in the day or switch to other characters important to him. It might not change the outcome (still have to choose A or B), but the delay might work for suspense. Then I'd say I planned it that way. LOL

Another thing I tend to do is make it known what the character absolutely MUST NOT do...and he or she *somehow* does it anyway. For example, my heroine who *must not* appear crazy to relatives who will take advantage of this weakness is overheard talking out loud to her ghost husband...or my heroine who is a witness hiding out from the bad guys *must not* draw attention to herself, but makes a scene in a public place. I love it when the stakes are laid out upfront and things still go wrong. But then I have to figure out the next "now what?"

Donna Cummings

LOL, Melissa -- maybe it is Cliffhanger Day! Sorry for the short notice. :)

I can see where Door #3 is a good stall tactic, especially if you say you planned it that way when you can't use it in the end. LOL

I like your MUST NOTs. That's a great way to create conflict for your character, and it really raises the stakes when they have to fix the things that go wrong as a result. I think I have a tendency to create some knotted situations for me and my characters and I'm usually adding some swear words to the "now what?" LOL


* Every story needs stakes, the higher the better. *

True for a suspense, but not so sure for a romance. If suspense is hot though, then the hotter the better works for me. As long as there are also cool 'getting to know you' and warm tender 'starting to love you' phases.

I guess its really 'horses for courses' LOL

I'm also agog, wondering what the good news will be.
I hope it is something 'out of this world' exciting Donna. *smile*

Donna Cummings

Q, it took me a while to understand what was meant by "high stakes", especially since my characters don't face the equivalent of a minefield under the foot. LOL

I ultimately decided it had to be something vitally important, to the characters, and to the reader. It couldn't be something easily resolved, with the characters skipping off to pick out wedding rings. LOL So there definitely has to be the cool "getting to know you" and warm tender "starting to love you" phases. There just has to be something strong interfering with that--internal, external, etc.

I don't know if my news qualifies as "out of this world" exciting, but it makes me very happy. :)

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