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  1. Jordan Dane's Avatar
    Reading: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larson
    Just Finished Reading: The Immortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare & The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak
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    #11

    Default Forgot to say this---CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tristy View Post
    Hi Jordan, (First draft completed urban fantasy for YA)
    Tristy.
    BTW, Tristy--Congratulations on completing your first draft. That's such a great feeling. And the world building on an urban fantasy is not an easy feat, my fine friend. You are cool.
    Jordan Dane
    www.JordanDane.com
    My Thriller Blog at The Kill Zone
    My YA Blog: Fringe Dweller
    The Echo of Violence (Avon, Sept 2010)
    Reckoning for the Dead (Avon, TBA 2011)
    In The Arms of Stone Angels (Harlequin Teen, APR 2011)
  2. Tristy's Avatar
    Reading: Solar
    Just Finished Reading: Dead ion the Family, The Summoning,Redemption alley, Flesh circus, Immortal: love stories with bite
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    Tristy is offline
    #12

    Xwriter

    Thanks Jordan,
    I've got the morning off (mum's got my daughter) so I'm busily typing away. I'm not sure about mixing up my POV's for now. In my first draft I have a character that my heroine meets, who is charming and fascinating, he turns out to be bad, but just disapears a few scene's later, I'm thinking of making him my evil genius, the one who is responsible for letting my evil red eyed vamps loose on the human population. My heroine is also a Vamp, but hasn't turned evil. My Vamps mostly live on another planet and my heroine accidentally ended up on earth. Is it enough if i give voice to this one evil character who is responsible for the others? I'll show the other as the come out of the darkness but I don't want to get into their minds, there are too many.
    Cheers
    Trsity.
  3. Jordan Dane's Avatar
    Reading: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larson
    Just Finished Reading: The Immortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare & The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak
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    #13

    Default Evil Vamps

    Quote Originally Posted by Tristy View Post
    Thanks Jordan,
    I've got the morning off (mum's got my daughter) so I'm busily typing away. I'm not sure about mixing up my POV's for now. In my first draft I have a character that my heroine meets, who is charming and fascinating, he turns out to be bad, but just disapears a few scene's later, I'm thinking of making him my evil genius, the one who is responsible for letting my evil red eyed vamps loose on the human population. My heroine is also a Vamp, but hasn't turned evil. My Vamps mostly live on another planet and my heroine accidentally ended up on earth. Is it enough if i give voice to this one evil character who is responsible for the others? I'll show the other as the come out of the darkness but I don't want to get into their minds, there are too many. Cheers Trsity.
    I think that a charming evil guy sounds intriguing. And you can give hints to the reader that his charm is covering up something darker. That can be subtle or more overt, depending on your goal. You can clue readers in that he's charming to her, but a bad guy when he's not with her. Yet his true motives can be kept secret from the reader. That could work too.

    I can totally see why a charming vamp might want to check her out. Does she have special abilities to cloak who or what she is, since she went to the wrong planet? Maybe he's come to her to find that out. Maybe she has abilities she doesnt know yet and only HE is aware that her being on earth was a mistake, a very deadly mistake. (Like on the show FRINGE this season, Olivia isn't aware that she is the only human being who can travel between worlds. And the bad alternative universe people know this. They're trying to brainwash her into believing she's on their side. Nasty bastards.)

    Or maybe this charming dude works for someone more sinister who gives orders. Seldom do head guys do the dirty work. They usually order it done. But I like your idea of letting this guy's charms cover up his real intentions.
    Jordan Dane
    www.JordanDane.com
    My Thriller Blog at The Kill Zone
    My YA Blog: Fringe Dweller
    The Echo of Violence (Avon, Sept 2010)
    Reckoning for the Dead (Avon, TBA 2011)
    In The Arms of Stone Angels (Harlequin Teen, APR 2011)
  4. SherryG's Avatar
    Reading: Budapest Moon by Stephanie Burkhart
    Just Finished Reading: Claiming the Legend by Janet Eaves
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    SherryG is offline
    #14

    Default

    Thanks for this Jordon. You've given me a lot to think about. Maybe he does need to come in earlier. Not sure how. There is a second 'bad guy' in the story, perhaps they connect somehow.
    To answer you first question, I'm a pantser, and he didn't turn up till late in the story, but as soon as he did, I knew he was the character behing all the evil going on in the story. I'll definately reconsider my approach on this, as until he turned up, I didn't consider the story HAD any suspense in it :-) I know! How sag is that? LOL
    Thanks Jordon.
  5. Jordan Dane's Avatar
    Reading: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larson
    Just Finished Reading: The Immortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare & The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak
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    #15

    Default Pantser

    Quote Originally Posted by SherryG View Post
    Thanks for this Jordon. You've given me a lot to think about. Maybe he does need to come in earlier. Not sure how. There is a second 'bad guy' in the story, perhaps they connect somehow.
    To answer you first question, I'm a pantser, and he didn't turn up till late in the story, but as soon as he did, I knew he was the character behing all the evil going on in the story. I'll definately reconsider my approach on this, as until he turned up, I didn't consider the story HAD any suspense in it :-) I know! How sag is that? LOL
    Thanks Jordon.
    I'm a pantser too. So I know what you're saying about all of a sudden discovering a character. But I think of book plots differently now than just going with the flow. After my first completed MS where my characters totally ran amuck and took over my book, I learned that I shouldn't give them that much control. I still don't outline or plot much, I only think of what I call "big ticket" plot points ahead of time. I'm an impatient author and want to get started (to discover my characters). I used to write the first three chapters and a 5-7 page (double spaced) synopsis - basically a proposal - so in case I had to set the project aside, I would know where I was headed and could pick up where I left off. And basically, in the first 3 chaps, an editor expects to see the basic premise of your book set up. It can have action, but mainly the basic conflicts should be known, IMO. Be aware that if you're drafting a proposal, an editor or agent will ask for the first 50 pages or 3 chapters, plus a synopsis. So it helps to have this already drafted AND that writing sample needs to clearly give a flavor for your voice, your characters, and the conflict ahead.

    To get a feel for what I'm saying, you may want to check out my 9-Act Screenplay structure or the traditional hero's journey, as an alternative. My website has the 9-act structure on my FOR WRITERS page. This framework is what serves as the foundation for the big action blockbuster movies. If you're not sure your story has enough suspense--even you have doubts--it probably doesn't. Now that doesn't mean new characters can't be introduced after the first 3 chaps--Lord knows I've done that before--but for the most part, the basic story should be there--the set up.

    Maybe your bad guy is trying to tell you something--that the story doesn't start in the right spot. Would your story be more suspenseful with HIM in the picture earlier? Starting a book is always the hardest for me.
    Jordan Dane
    www.JordanDane.com
    My Thriller Blog at The Kill Zone
    My YA Blog: Fringe Dweller
    The Echo of Violence (Avon, Sept 2010)
    Reckoning for the Dead (Avon, TBA 2011)
    In The Arms of Stone Angels (Harlequin Teen, APR 2011)
  6. Jordan Dane's Avatar
    Reading: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larson
    Just Finished Reading: The Immortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare & The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak
    TBR: 2Many
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    Jordan Dane is offline
    #16

    Default Where to Start Your Book

    Sometimes I don't get this right and have to start over. And only my gut instincts on story telling guides me. But I usually know that in a book of suspense, that I have to start with the action. In crime fiction, that usually involves a crime or murder--something that instigates a change in the life of my main character. Start on the day his or her life changes forever, maybe.

    Below is an excerpt of an article I have posted on my website - FOR WRITER's page. The topic is Start with a Bang. If you write other genres, read between the lines on what will work for your story, but the basics are here. I hope these tips help.

    How do I begin my story? >>
    1. Start in the middle of the action or a problem. Below are some examples: >>
      • A murder—the BANG of a gun >>
      • An emotional lover's quarrel - the emotion is key >>
      • A personal conflict - good against evil or an underdog pitted against a tyrant >>
    2. Or create a new and intriguing world or a unique place or time >>
      • The beginning of a mission to an exotic place—what's at stake? >>
      • A futuristic new culture with a surprise twist >>
      • A fantasy world with its own rules or values >>
      • A small town with heart warming people the reader cares about >>
    3. Begin with a compelling and identifiable feeling—readers can be voyeurs or empathize >>
      • The sensual sensation of skin on skin >>
      • The pain of a bullet to the leg—desperation to stop the bleeding >>
      • Sinking into a bubble bath after a gut wrenching day (but avoid describing the day's events until later in your story-this can slow the pace and dilute the action of the scene) >>
      • The first taste of homemade pie that reminds you of another place and time >>
    4. Dialogue can be a good intro—No chit chat—Make it count >>
      • You can start in the middle of the action but try and keep to the beginning of the dialogue >>
      • Don't make the reader guess what your characters are talking about >>
    5. Start with a compelling human interest story or a distinctive character >>
      • Readers are drawn to emotion and human pain or passion >>
      • Paint the portrait of a compelling character in his or her world—Why should we care about them? >>
    What else should I know about starting my story? >>
    1. For action sequences, remember pace is key >>
      • Stick with the action—there's no time for back story when guns are blazing >>
      • Place the reader in the midst of it all—using all their senses >>
      • Short sentences as well as short chapters and scenes add tension—sometimes switching between key scenes can build on the momentum >>
      • Don't let introspection detract from the action—Remember, they might still be firing weapons at your hero/heroine. It's all about action, reaction and pace. >>
    2. The catchy first line or set up—Can we talk? >>
      • Everyone places a lot of importance on this—I'm more of a believer in a fuller concept. The rest of the scene makes or breaks that one good line, so— >>
      • Make it count—No gimmicks >>
      • Don't cheat the reader on the implied promise of a good book >>
      • The hook of a well-constructed first sentence or introduction to a story is only meant to draw the reader in. The rest of the chapter should keep them there. >>
    3. James Patterson—Thoughts that resonated with me after hearing him speak at nationals >>
      • Be there—he has this on his computer as a reminder to put the reader in the scene with all the 5-senses >>
      • Start each chapter/scene as if it's your first word in the manuscript—take the same effort and apply it through the entire book >>
    >>
    Jordan Dane
    www.JordanDane.com
    My Thriller Blog at The Kill Zone
    My YA Blog: Fringe Dweller
    The Echo of Violence (Avon, Sept 2010)
    Reckoning for the Dead (Avon, TBA 2011)
    In The Arms of Stone Angels (Harlequin Teen, APR 2011)
  7. SherryG's Avatar
    Reading: Budapest Moon by Stephanie Burkhart
    Just Finished Reading: Claiming the Legend by Janet Eaves
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    SherryG is offline
    #17

    Default

    Jordon, thanks for your quick and comprehensive reply. The story was not intended to have suspense, conflict and mystery, yes, but suspense, no. I joined your class because I need to know how to add and make my suspense both tenable (sp?) and creditible. I've hop over to your pages in just a 'mo'. Thanks again.
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