Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Waiting

I've been waiting for over two months for about four buds to flower on a plant in my kitchen, which hasn't bloomed in a few years. My waiting started when I first noticed something small was forming in one spot instead of just new leaves. After investigating, I found more of the same happening.

The buds are getting larger and I can see a small bit of the flowers, as you can tell from the photo on the left. Still, I can't see the entire flowers. I can hardly wait to see what they'll look like.

How does this relate to writing?
A good book will keep the reader waiting and guessing what will happen next.  A good author will not spill the beans too soon, but string the reader along to find out how the character(s) will get out of predicaments and hopefully live happy and fulfilled lives at the end of the book. In the case of a series, the author will need to take care to offer some sort of denouement at the end of each book, yet leave the reader curious about future books in the series.

In my debut mystery novel, Two Wrongs, the two main characters play a waiting game. For both, it's about how to exact revenge. When Danny's sister, Mary Alice, is murdered, he believes he knows who did it and testifies against Kevin. The fact that Kevin is sent to prison isn't enough. He wants Kevin dead for what he did to Mary Alice. Kevin has a very different waiting game, waiting to get out of prison, then planning his own sort of revenge.

What kind of waiting game is in your own book or someone else's that you like?



If you'd like to read Two Wrongs, a tale of vengeance and the healing power of love (yes, there is romance included) you can find it for 99 cents on Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, and other ereaders.

17 comments:

Kelly McClymer said...

Morgan, that sounds great. I love books with strong characters who would probably be on the same side if they knew a little bit more of the truth.

Helen Ginger said...

I like when a character is waiting for the right time or the right event or things to come together. The reader gets to anticipate, right along with them.

Bob Sanchez said...

Douglas Adams once described the plots in his crazy novels as "one damn thing after another." If things keep happening, then both your characters and your readers will keep guessing.

Red Tash said...

Great characters reacting to great circumstances, gotta love it! Best of luck, as always, Morgan!

BPL Ref said...

Well said, Morgan! One thing I always notice in a book is the waiting. . . such as when an author needs for a character to follow up on a clue but not too quickly. It takes a good author to stall convincingly! Jeanne

Cheryl said...

I love the cover on this book, Morgan.

I am such an impatient person I wonder if that's part of why I find drawing things out difficult. In the children's historical I just finished, two siblings and their grandfather seek shelter from a blizzard in an abandoned house. The grandfather takes off to the barn to get the horses warm and the kids spend several anxious minutes waiting for Granpda to return. It made for a funny moment or two.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If you spill the beans, then you have to clean up the mess!
Good analogy.

Maryann Miller said...

Love the bean analogy, too. Really makes the point.

In my WIP my central character is waiting to see if she will be charged with kidnapping and murder again, and the corrupt sheriff is waiting to see if the mob is going to take him out for not getting a case resolved.

Morgan Mandel said...

Waiting can be hell until it's over!

Morgan Mandel

Mayra Calvani said...

Congrats on your new book, Morgan! You're so prolific!

Larion aka Larriane Wills said...

if the waiting is done well, that's why i read a book twice. first i rush through to find the answers. the next time, i enjoy the details more. and don't forget to make your readers wait when you post excerpts. don't choose one that gives the end away.

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jenny milchman said...

Master suspense novelists are all about the wait, you're right! (Think Hitchcock). I wonder if the business of publishing recreates the wait for the same reason :)

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