A few weeks ago, I began a series of posts with words of wisdom from different authors. I ‘collect’ these whenever I come across them. I will share these with you – (my readers) for October and November as I work on my outline for NaNoWriMo, as well as teaching my class, ‘Mustang Patty Teaches Writing.’ I hope you find them as valuable as I do.
Jerry Jenkins*, author of the best selling ‘Left Behind’ series, gives us some advice from another great writer. ‘Dean Koontz**, the great author, says you have to plunge your main character into terrible trouble as soon as possible. Now that means something different for each genre. You may have your character hanging by his fingernails from a railroad trestle from the first sentence for a thriller or a suspense story. For a romance, the terrible trouble may mean that a woman has two suitors, and she’s trying to decide which one to go with. But still the terrible trouble has to start from the first word. There just isn’t time to ease into a story and do what editors refer to as throat clearing and setting the scene.’
I found this quote from Dean Koontz to be fascinating. It IS imperative to get to the point of your story quickly—especially in the short story. While it is nice to create the setting and ease into the storyline, your readers will lose interest if you take too long.
Jerry Jenkins teaches several classes through his website, and I’ve taken three or four. He is a great inspiration to other writers and me because he describes writing in great detail.
Until next time,
*Jerry Bruce Jenkins is an American writer. He is best known for the Left Behind series, written for Tim LaHaye. en.wikipedia.org
Born: September 23, 1949 (age 72), Kalamazoo, Michigan
**Dean Ray Koontz (pictured) is an American author. His novels are billed as suspense thrillers, but frequently incorporate elements of horror, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and satire. en.wikipedia.org