Born blonde and Polish, Jennifer Turner writes action adventure thrillers and romances. She resides in Wisconsin with her husband Eddie, a red-headed Texan, and her three children, Dustin, Molly and Matthew. Raised by an eclectic assortment of artists and musicians, her upbringing helped shape and hone her imagination and dedication to the romantic arts. Between her commitments to family and writing, she actively pursues three things–white chocolate, dark chocolate, and more chocolate.
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Writing Workshop: Perfecting Your Pace Part2/Exercise
Perfecting Your Pace 2: Exercise
Most of our discussion so far has been about the peak and the descent. Today we'll discuss how to create a page-turning valley. As a mentor for aspiring authors, I've found the single hardest aspect of the craft is making those down times not just relevant, but also exciting. A simple trick any author can use is to assign the valley an emotional theme. Whichever character the scene is written in, hero, heroine, or villain, the emotion you choose should be strong and relevant to that character's journey.
For early in the work: Hero: His inner journey may be to learn patience: show him impatient. Emotion: Irritation Heroine: Her inner journey may be to better handle stress: show her stressed. Emotion: Anxiety Villain: His inner journey may be to embrace his darker side: show him resisting. Emotion: Regret
For later in the work: Same Hero: Show his patience sorely tested. Emotion: Fortitude Same Heroine: Show her stress levels rising to the breaking point. Emotion: Appropriate anger Same Villain: Show him relenting to his darker side: Malice
Once you've decided (and this may be instinctual) which strong emotion needs to be most prevalent in the scene, begin crafting or rewriting to bring that emotion to the fore. Readers are most interested how the processing of information affects the character at any given moment. As in yesterday's example, a reader will be eager to discover how the heroine responds to winning the divorce, as much as they wanted to know if she won in court or not.
Using the assigned emotional theme and as many of the following items as you can, create an active Valley scene where your character is constantly moving, thinking or speaking if you choose to use more than one character. You can write anything you want, as long as the protagonist is involved (physically) with all the items in the list and it follows the given theme.
Emotional Theme: Anticipation
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Should you make a discovery during the process or have any questions, please feel free to share! Tomorrow we'll discuss the ascent and how to apply these concepts to your work in progress.