Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sense of Urgency Required


All of my stories have had a clear time period in which to become resolved. Frances had three months at court, Mary had twelve days of Christmas, and Jane had Frances' house party and the threat of her father taking action. All of these issues created a sense of urgency and made it easy for me to pace my story when it came to chronology.

Not so for Karma. I've made Karma so blasé  about the haunting that it might take years to resolve. There's no need to hurry, so there's no set time frame. What did I do to myself? Of course, urgency creates higher stakes, so beside the fact that I've made my pacing difficult, I've stifled the conflict. Bad Erin. Bad.

Solution? Make the ghosts less amenable and Karma more frightened and less intrigued. I can do this. Karma is one of those highly intellectual people with the common sense that usually goes hand in hand with that -- very little. She's more fascinated by the research than cautious for her safety. Right know she's on a research kick that threatens to slow the pace of the story -- so let's threaten her safety, shall we?

In the space of me mulling it over in this blog the problem has been solved. I love it when that happens and it doesn't have to be forced.

Are you having any issues with your stories?

6 comments:

Stacy McKitrick said...

You're so right about the sense of urgency. It creates suspense, too. Glad you figured it out in your story. Luckily, I'm not having that problem!

Tanya Reimer said...

I love how talking about it gets it solved. I always have problems that I write a long detailed reports to my crit partners that I never have to send since I fix my own problems once I see them all detailed like that. lol.

Good luck, it sounds like a great fun story.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

There has to be the sense of a "ticking bomb" somewhere in each chapter to keep readers turning the pages. If your characters are having an easy time, your readers are sure to be bored! :-)

Susan Kane said...

I don't have a single ticking bomb in my book, and therein lies the problem.

Raquel Byrnes said...

You could make the hauntings escalate in danger and so a natural time table before your character is killed by ectoplasm or whatever develops. :)

Erin Kane Spock said...

Okay, so I should kill my characters with ectoplasm? Will do.

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