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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
    TBR: 2Many
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    Jordan Dane is offline
    #1

    Rolling Eyes Any Other Topics You Want???

    Since I'll be here all next week (Oct 11-17), I'd like to open the discussion to include any topics you'd like to chat about. (This is probably the quietest group of authors I've ever seen. I'm hearing crickets... )

    If you want to talk about contests, the industry, other genres, or other craft topics, I'll be happy to field questions on anything. I'm here for you guys. Just let me know how I can help.

    Happy writing!
    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. SherryG's Avatar
    Reading: Budapest Moon by Stephanie Burkhart
    Just Finished Reading: Claiming the Legend by Janet Eaves
    TBR: lots
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    SherryG is offline
    #2

    Default

    Jordan, I'm sorry I'm guilty of not pulling my weight here, but have just completed my first week of promo spots for my debut book. All new ground for me and kinda scary.
    But as your workshop will have mega impact on how I re-write the story with the bigamy and false claims, I just had to join. :-)
    As I am guilty of falling behind and have not read all the posts I may be repeating a question already out there.

    What is the difference between a romantic suspense and a suspenceful romance? Is it about percentages of suspense v romance, or is there no difference at all?

    I claim to write contemporary romance, but have seen where it is described as a suspense, and also a mystery! So now I'm confused by the difference between 'conflict' and 'suspense/mystery'.
  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
    TBR: 2Many
    Join Date
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    Jordan Dane is offline
    #3

    Xthud uugghhh!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by SherryG View Post
    Jordan, I'm sorry I'm guilty of not pulling my weight here, but have just completed my first week of promo spots for my debut book. All new ground for me and kinda scary.
    But as your workshop will have mega impact on how I re-write the story with the bigamy and false claims, I just had to join. :-)
    As I am guilty of falling behind and have not read all the posts I may be repeating a question already out there.

    What is the difference between a romantic suspense and a suspenceful romance? Is it about percentages of suspense v romance, or is there no difference at all?

    I claim to write contemporary romance, but have seen where it is described as a suspense, and also a mystery! So now I'm confused by the difference between 'conflict' and 'suspense/mystery'.
    Can't believe it but the server kicked me out after I'd written a lengthy reply.

    I'll gather my thoughts again after more coffee.
    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. 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
    Join Date
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    Jordan Dane is offline
    #4

    Yeah Definitions - Let's try this again, Mr. Server

    Quote Originally Posted by SherryG View Post
    What is the difference between a romantic suspense and a suspenceful romance? Is it about percentages of suspense v romance, or is there no difference at all?

    I claim to write contemporary romance, but have seen where it is described as a suspense, and also a mystery! So now I'm confused by the difference between 'conflict' and 'suspense/mystery'.
    As far as blending the right amount of romance with suspense, lots of people talk about percentages, but that’s hard to gauge. Karen Rose said it best when she defined the right balance as this. If you can delete your entire romance subplot and the book no longer makes sense, then you have the right balance. That means you must make the romance an integral part of the book and you must make it worse for your hero & heroine because they have feelings for one another. Every time they are together, they are in danger or they become more embroiled in a treacherous plot.


    In my debut book – NO ONE HEARD HER SCREAM – my hero was really cagey about being followed until the bad guys started following her. My hero became vulnerable because he couldn’t stay away from her and they both ultimately paid a price for their feelings.


    Below are my distinctions between mystery, suspense, & thrillers. I hope this helps too.

    Definitions – Mystery vs. Suspense vs. Thriller

    · Mystery – The classic mystery is a ‘whodunnit’ with a crime to solve from the start by a professional or amateur sleuth who unravels clues to find the culprit. A revelation on something that has already happened.
    · Suspense –Instead of the protagonist in a mystery who is unraveling clues to track down the criminal behind a murder, the suspense genre involves a protagonist who is trying to stop or prevent something from happening. There generally is a building tension or suspense as the plot progresses.
    · Thriller - With a pure thriller, there can be higher stakes, multiple POVs, sometimes international settings, and definitely faster pace. Suspense on stimulants. A reader can have a visceral reaction when reading a thriller—escalated heart rate, tension, adrenaline rush, etc.


    And the definitions below come from the Romance Writers of America:


    RWA Definition of Romance & Romantic Suspense:

    ROMANCE - Two basic elements comprise every romance novel: a central love story and an emotionally-satisfying and optimistic ending.

    A Central Love Story: The main plot centers around two individuals falling in love and struggling to make the relationship work. A writer can include as many subplots as he/she wants as long as the love story is the main focus of the novel.

    An Emotionally-Satisfying and Optimistic Ending: In a romance, the lovers who risk and struggle for each other and their relationship are rewarded with emotional justice and unconditional love.

    Romance novels may have any tone or style, be set in any place or time, and have varying levels of sensuality—ranging from sweet to extremely hot. These settings and distinctions of plot create specific subgenres within romance fiction.


    Romantic Suspense
    Romance novels in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot.
    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)
  5. Karen McGrath's Avatar
    Reading: A Touch of Scandal
    Just Finished Reading: Mockingjay
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    Karen McGrath is offline
    #5

    Typing

    Hi Jordan, I haven't been here much either this past week. Preparing for my workshop on Tuesday at a writer's conference. Fun but time consuming.

    Do you have an agent? I went through your website but couldn't find any info. Do you recommend one?

    Thanks for the genre info. I write romantic suspense.

    Great class, thanks!
  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
    #6

    Default My contact page

    Quote Originally Posted by Karen McGrath View Post
    Hi Jordan, I haven't been here much either this past week. Preparing for my workshop on Tuesday at a writer's conference. Fun but time consuming.

    Do you have an agent? I went through your website but couldn't find any info. Do you recommend one?

    Thanks for the genre info. I write romantic suspense.

    Great class, thanks!
    On my CONTACT/MEDIA page at my website, I have my agent listed there, with her address. Meredith Bernstein. She's been a great fit for me and author Sharon Sala help me land her. She's Sharon's agent and MB has an impressive list of authors too.

    Agents are great to get you into doors that you wouldnt get through easily on your own. They also can play the part of bad cop, so you can be a ray of sunshine. And since I don't have time to have beta readers anymore, my agent can vet my work and give me feedback. Sometimes I listen, sometimes I don't, but MB's instincts are really good and she's usually right. An agent can also help you negotiate terms of your agreement, but I also recommend getting a lawyer to look over any contract. Hope that helps.

    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. Red Dragon's Avatar
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    Red Dragon is offline
    #7

    Default

    Hi Jordan,
    I've been reading your classes on writing suspense and thank you for them. I've been told it is unsatisfying (cheating) to warn the heroine of the danger in the forest and then have her go in alone. Do you agree?
    For me the scariest thing is to be hiding in a room and see the door knob turning.
    What do you and the other writers, here, consider the most scary thing to read - not necessarily to write?
    Thanks,
    Rusty.
    Rusty
  8. 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
    #8

    Default Great Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dragon View Post
    Hi Jordan,
    I've been reading your classes on writing suspense and thank you for them. I've been told it is unsatisfying (cheating) to warn the heroine of the danger in the forest and then have her go in alone. Do you agree?
    For me the scariest thing is to be hiding in a room and see the door knob turning.
    What do you and the other writers, here, consider the most scary thing to read - not necessarily to write?
    Thanks,
    Rusty.
    It depends on why she is going in alone. If she's out of options and she's got no other choice, then she will seem brave even though you will write her as fearful probably. But if she knows it's dangerous and doesn't take precautions when she's got options, then it makes her seem "too stupid to live" which is a phrase my editor might use.

    Personally, I like the door knob turning thing. Once you open that door though, the rush of dread for the reader is over so milk it. But having said that, I think it's in the setting too. Think about hiding in a room where you think you might be safe and you're not. The knob turns and you're trapped. That's pretty scary, but try walking down a dark alley knowing you have no business there. Your heart will throttle inside your chest and your breaths will come in pants because your mind is working overtime on what bad things could happen. It's like a nightmare that everyone had probably had or can imagine easily. I would pick the scariest setting and give her a reason to walk into it alone, knowing that someone else's life is on the line.

    For me, atmosphere and setting play an important part in setting the stage for a suspenseful creep fest. And you can keep up the pace when there's a chase scene, but when it comes to a bad guy confronting my heroine, I slow down the action and take in every sweat drop trickling down her spine so the readers feels it all.

    Suspense is about waiting for something bad to happen, not the actual act itself. So it's all in the lead in to whatever she is heading into. Write what you fear too. And that can be really hard to do. I scare myself all the time.

    Make your heroine smart & savvy with no choice if she wants to save someone's life at the risk of her own. Real courage is something we all admire. And if you make the villain seem smarter and overwhelmingly brilliant, you can pit your girl against him and pick just the right way for her to win in an unexpected twist. Things have to seem dark before anything good happens so the ending is emotionally draining by the time it's over. You want your readers to feel that sense of relief, just like your character. Your heroine would be like David against Goliath. Make that climax worth waiting for.

    I hope others respond to your question too. I'd love to hear what other authors like.
    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)
  9. 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
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Oklahoma & Texas
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    Jordan Dane is offline
    #9

    Default THE BOOK THIEF - Amazing!

    I'm almost to the end of THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak. At a point where I dread what is coming--knowing it will be sad--and not wanting this book to be over.

    Markus looks like a young guy in his author photo, but he writes with the type of emotion that makes me think he has an old soul. How does an author take such risk? This book is told through the eyes of Death in an omniscient POV. And it's got handwritten text and cartoon images of an artist inside the pages--a book within a book. And when Death wants you to pay close attention, he bolds his text and centers it in the middle of the page with asterisks or other punctuation, as if you could possibly ignore his words.

    If you have the pleasure of reading this book, read between the lines of an author who took a risk. He had faith in his talent and put everything on the page, without caring what anyone else would think. He wrote the story his heart and his instincts told him to write. And this book will undoubtedly become a classic.

    I will be sad when this book is over. And it will make it hard for me to select another to follow it, but for now, I am savoring every word.

    Thank you, Markus.
    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)
  10. #10

    Default Style

    I came across your books from this forum and am reading No One Heard Her Scream. I am enjoying your style very much - sharp and riveting, made me want to turn the pages (I am usually into horror or paranormal). So, my question may be out of context - did you develop your style over time or how did "it" happen? Also, did you begin writing in your current genre or did you experiment with other genres?
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