Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Writing Transitions and Tie-backs: Part III

If a writer can make connections in their story either subtle or obvious, you engage the reader in your fiction and they will love your book.

So, how can we do that?

1) With seemingly trivial details -Hitchcock did this a lot. He would focus in on an object or movement and the viewer would wonder what the significance was for the action...later in the movie, the object would announce itself again and all would be known. This you could do in revision.
For example, in one of my mystery novels, the code I use begins with a series of numbers that the MC battles throughout the book to understand. Well at the end, she realizes what the numbers signify and it ties pieces together...

2) With seemingly small words and ideas - a) repeat a distinctive thought or phrase of dialog in the story but do it in a way that gives it a varied meaning each time he or she says it. b) put a bit of the ending in the beginning. For example, if your murderer is mentioned at the beginning and at the end the killer feels he's accomplished something by his killing spree, drop hints to his accomplishment in the beginning.

Chapter one - the murder thinks, I will become famous, they will talk about me for years to come...
Last chapter - the murder shouts, "They will talk of me and my brilliance for years to come!"(as he laughs an evil laugh...mhahaha)


Chapter one - the MC purchases a handbag and then chastises herself for spending to much money, poor people would murder for the money I spent on this bag.
Last chapter - after she solves a case where an innocent man died for pocket change, she sees the bag, dumps out the contents, returns it and gives the money to a homeless man on the street.

3) With consistency of character - make sure that the character always stays true to themselves. True, characters change but make sure they are truly motivated not because you want them to change to fit a scene. Review each character's goals.

4) With conflicting POV - when you tie-back characters who are in conflict to an event involving both, show how they differ in the recollection of the event. They should remain in conflict even when they remember the scene later on.

5) With the element of surprise - if you can, try and surprise your readers...not with crazy, unbelievable, or unplausable actions but use unpredictable words or sentences or endings to a scene. Surprise your character, surprise yourself.

I made a mistake yesterday... I mentioned I got an award from Laura at Though Laura's Eyes but I forgot to add the link so you could check out her site... so, I will mention it again today. Go visit her site!

I am supposed to give this award to 12 bloggers, but 5 will have to do because I'm on the verge of colapse. I also have to display my award (done yesterday) and then write 10 things about me (see right column or below).

Sunshine award goes to:
1) Leya at Wandeca Reads
2) Charmaine Clancy at Wagging Tales
3) Mason at Thoughts in Progress
4) Jim at The Truth about Lies
5) Marce at Tea Time With Marce

Also, I've received the Kreativ Blogger Award from Rayna at Coffee Rings Everywhere... I haven't received this one before...so I will add it to my collection.

You can learn more about me on the right column and on this blog.  I still haven't decided who to give the awards to, so that will come later.

Also, all you mystery writers check out Elizabeth's blog on making your mystery novel scary or suspenseful. She gives wonderful advice.

I've started another blog (I know... I do it torture myself.) ...it's something I plan to work on with my son. It's bUcKet list...

And for all who don't know what CARMEX is, it's lip balm.


Marce said...

Ann, thank you very much, its appreciated.

Have a great week.

Leya said...

Ann, thanks for the award. :D

Mason Canyon said...

I love the example you gave about the handbag and had to work it in at the beginning and end. Definitely ties everything together.

Thank you so much for thinking of me when passing on the award. I'm touched and honored.

Jim Murdoch said...

Thank you for including me. I don't make a habit of posting awards but the thought is very much appreciated.

Ann Elle Altman said...

No problem, guys. I love reading your blogs.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

These are great tips! I've tweeted them. :)

Thanks for the plug, too!

Mystery Writing is Murder

Charmaine Clancy said...

Gosh, thanks Ann for passing on the award to me, I've been enjoying your blogposts. I like the idea of using an unexpected word, this works really well for humour too, making me think of a show I saw recently where the MC said to his twin.. "It's like we're in sync, we finish off each others..." "Sandwiches" his twin puts in, nodding in agreement.

Laura said...

Much appreciated advice in this post, Ann.

Thank you for linking my blog and again, thanks for sharing your creativity and knowledge.:)

Ann Elle Altman said...

Elizabeth, I just loved your blog today...well, everyday.

Charmaine, that's funny. Yes, it's like that.

Laura, and everyone, you're welcome. I'm glad you like the blog.


Kimberly Franklin said...

Great tips, Ann. Reading your blog always makes me think. I love it.

Congrats on your awards!

Jemi Fraser said...

Great advice! Anything Hitchcock did well is worth emulating :)

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Issues with Carmex???? hmm.

Anonymous said...

I visited Elizabeth's blog on suspense. Its a good one. I think the comments may have been better than the blog. Nothing against Elizabeth as she is one of my favorite bloggers to visit.

Stephen Tremp

Anonymous said...

I'm tweeting this tomorrow around 1130a. Great post as always!


from the desk of a writer

Ann Elle Altman said...

Thanks, guys, you make my day. I love reading your encouraging comments, they encourage me to write better posts.