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  1. #1
    Joseph Koppe

    Big time help...Please!!!!

    I am 2 chapters complete in my story and I am looking for advice. I know everything that is suppose to happen in the story. Unfortunately, I am at a loss as to what to do with the third chapter. I do not want to give to much away...so here is the question.

    The woman character in my book has a surprise that she unleashes on the two main characters later in the story. It revolves around her occupation and her motives in the past.
    It is an integral part of setting up the end of the story...so, do I introduce the deception to the reader prior to the two main characters finding out? OR, do I introduce to the reader the deception as the two main characters discover the truth?

    I ask because I wanted to start the third chapter introducing her, as she has been the subject of the previous 2 in memory format, someone long lost and is now being searched for. someone that is found but not yet contacted and is in tremendous danger. She is reunited with the lead guy in the next session of the story...but do I divulge her past and her secrets now or later in the book?

  2. #2
    Bob Kellogg

    Decide what you want to accomplish, Joe.

    Tension is the food of fiction. You need to decide how that tension will be created.

    Either way would work, but think about how you want the reader to percieve the woman. Whose POV are you following? All three? If you don't follow the woman's POV, you can keep the secret, but if you do, you'll need to reveal how she feels, especially why she's deceiving the two men.

    If the reader knows she's deceiving the men, they won't be favorably disposed to her. Is that what you want? You'll need to decide how you want the reader to feel about your characters, especially any changed perceptions.

    That's all I could come up with.

    Bob K.

  3. #3
    Eric Mettenich

    Re: Decide what you want to accomplish, Joe.

    Pick a scenario and write it. If it works, great. If it doesn't then you'll probably know why, then you can improve it. Agonizing over what to do never helps. Just get something down. If you have something down you can change it. And you can keep changing your story until you like every last word of it.

    Sometimes you come up against a brick wall. The story stops/your last scene didn't work/the story goes off track. But it's all because you wrote something down, something you could later change/correct/modify/use somewhere else.

    There will also be days when everything falls beautifully into place and it all flows.

    I hope that helps.


  4. #4
    Joseph Koppe

    Re: Decide what you want to accomplish, Joe.

    Thankyou for your advice...Honestly, I agree with both of you.
    I hope more advice comes my way...

  5. #5
    Todd Allen

    Save it for later...

    First, there's no way you know everything that is supposed to happen in your story if you're stuck on chapter three. Second, It's okay - most people do get stuck on chapter three.

    I assume this is a mystery/suspense/thriller. If so, then I think you're better off saving the deception tip-off until later. Let the reader take the ride along with your characters. That's the fun of reading - and writing.

    And you can use the woman's POV to move the story without giving it away, if you're clever about it.

    Good advice, Bob and Eric.

  6. #6

    Re: Save it for later...

    Whether or not you're writing a suspense/mystery is irrelevant. Good fiction holds the reader's interest. If you can do that better by delaying the woman's "surprise", then that would be the way to approach it. If not, then find a way to tell a little, perhaps feeding bits and pieces here and there.

    Just a thought; hope it helps.

  7. #7
    Roy Abrahams

    To Joe re Big Time Help plus a question

    Hello Joe!

    You say "I know everything that is supposed to happen in the story" so I'm assuming you know exactly where the story is going and where it will end. I can't tell you which way to turn in resolving your dilemma but there is one thing you could do if you decide to gradually expose the woman's secret to the two men. And you most likely know of it. That is the old trick of foreshadowing; A discrete word here and there that creates suspense (however subtle)in the reader's mind. Ideally, an effective foreshadowing would involve one or two facts that, taken by themselves, do not reveal to the reader or the two men in question the secret or even the fact that the secret exists. But those discrete statements will prepare the reader for the revelation. My feeling here is that in doing this, you are avoiding the danger of jarring the reader. Throwing a sudden element at a reader could have a disenchanting effect.

    I'm not suggesting this should be done; only that it could be used in the story if you felt it could help. I advance it in the spirit of sharing my thoughts.

    One last thing, Joe: I have lost my email files to you in which I sent a story for review per your request posted on these boards some few weeks ago. Could you please advise me as to which story I submitted? Also, please let me know if it arrived; I received no postmaster notice that it was kicked back but as it was sent in a file format I'm unsure of, my concern is if it arrived. Many thanks for the help and keep visiting these boards. You're in good company.

    Best regards, Roy

  8. #8

    Re: To Joe re Big Time Help plus a question

    Dear Joe:

    If you do any scenes from the woman's POV and DON'T reveal her secret to the reader, it is going to annoy said reader greatly -- unless you are cleverer than most authors I know. (Including myself.)

    Readers feel cheated when a POV character lies to them, even by omission. It does happen sometimes, such as in Christie's The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, or Mary Stewart's The Ivy Tree, but it's a really tough thing to pull off. (As a reader, I was annoyed at both of these books!)

    -Ann C. Crispin

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