I’ve arrived at my least favorite part of writing a novel–I call it tension overload and resolution. No matter what the genre, novels need that moment of danger when all seems to be lost, the heroine has been tied to the railroad track and the train is coming, the family farm is about to be lost or the main character only has five minutes to disarm the bomb before his/her counterpart is blown to smithereens. What makes it difficult (for me) is that the major conflict has to be resolved in a way that satisfies readers or you’ve lost them. Maybe forever. Pacing is critical. The build up of tension is critical. Pretty much everything is critical. If you’ve got something in there that isn’t critical, you should probably take it out.
I recently got hooked on a series that I could not put down. The first book was free, but I liked it so much that I paid full price for the rest. My expectations for the finale, book six, were high. But guess what? That finale moment of tension and resolution sucked in book six! The author simply explained what happened. Talk about a letdown. I wasn’t just disappointed. I was pissed. And if I hadn’t been reading it on my iPhone, I would have thrown it across the room.
So now I’m paranoid. Maybe a little more than I should be. I’ve been struggling with this particular aspect of The Tattooed Angel for longer than I’m going to admit. It isn’t that I don’t know what’s going to happen, but making it happen in an explosive, tension-filled way that leaves the reader breathless (are my expectations too high?)–that’s freaking hard. And all I know to do is to keep working on it until I get it right. Or I die of old age.
Does anyone else have a problem with this? If you’ve got suggestions on how to get through it, don’t be shy. For now, I’ve got to return to the sixteenth century and save my heroine (in a way that will leave you breathless) before the bad guys get her.
See ya later!