Does this part of my story need to be explained? - Page 3


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Thread: Does this part of my story need to be explained?

  1. #21
    Oh okay thank you very much for all that information! Well I don't want to show the villains discussing the murder because I thought that it would be better to show it mostly from the good guys point of view, and it would keep the villains more mysterious, knowing less of what their next movies, are going to be, if that's better?

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    Oh okay thank you very much for all that information! Well I don't want to show the villains discussing the murder because I thought that it would be better to show it mostly from the good guys point of view, and it would keep the villains more mysterious, knowing less of what their next movies, are going to be, if that's better?
    It isn’t always better. It would depend on multiple factors. It takes dramatic irony to “place a bomb” causing suspense, OR you can just very consciously place the question of what is at stake in the minds of the good guys and show that to your reader. Make it obvious what we are up against, that this girl’s life is what is at stake.

    Making the reader want something to go right or go wrong sounds like a fun thing to play with in this story, imo. But it’s whatever you want to bring to this story. Carefully placed set-up is what is fun to me with cop stories.

    I think my favorite “cop story” is The Fugitive the movie with Tommy Lee Jones and Harrison Ford. What was set up (and being constantly asked during near-misses) was the question “Will he have to go back to prison?” But if the motivations weren’t set up well, for instance if Tommy Lee Jones was also looking for the killer instead of resolutely hell-bent on bringing his man in, then it would have just seemed scrambled and the suspense lost because we wouldnt be looking to make sure Harrison’s character gets away free. Those questions “Does he find the killer? Does he get away?” Keeps us in suspense throughout while everything else going on can still entertain us.

    Knowing clear motivations in advance— knowing what could happen if people get what they are after makes it so that you can then play with your reader’s expectations. Without it, there is no play and it’s like all the colors in the play dough got massed together into gray. Not that this is my genre! I’ve just had to eat a lot of gray play dough from my neighbor’s books. But anyway, clear motivations and placing deliberate questions in the minds of the reader I think give the story the emotional structure it needs to keep us caring. I would think I’d like to be kept on the hook of “Will the villains kill this girl?” And “Will the cop and girl get together?” Seems like a nice hook to me. Or bright green and pink playdough. Whichever.

  3. #23
    Oh okay thank you very much!

    Well when it comes to how much I should show of the villains, since I am writing a screenplay, here are two movie examples of how much of the villains to show. I feel I should give a CONTENT WARNING, just in case

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydUmiYG7Njs&t=70s
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXfzZsdR8zc

    One shows the villains from their POV me, and one shows the villains from the protagonist's point of view only, and this you have no as much dramatic irony, but a much bigger surprise, when the shots are fired. I am not sure which POV to use. But when writing how do you know whether or not the bomb under the table, or the maxmimum surprise is better?

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    But when writing how do you know whether or not the bomb under the table, or the maxmimum surprise is better?
    I’m learning a lot here too by exploring this with you. I listened to 3 “Writing Excuses” podcastes on building suspense and listened to a Ted-Talks on it too. There were some great quotes on the trade-off between suspense and mystery. Basically that you are trading the unknown for expectation. There was a quote in the Ted-talks saying something like “Suspense is expectation mingled with uncertainty.” There was the statement that basically you have to give your readers a reason why they should care for the next 200 pages. I think giving people that question of “Are they going to murder that sweet girl? Is he going to save her? Are they going to get together?” You can tease and play those up and people will hang on. I’m trying to think if this applies to every book and every genre, but without the set up of expectations is any reader actually going to get engaged? I will have to think about that.

    I was just talking to my husband. He said if you’re not revealing something to your reader, ask yourself “Why?” If there isn’t a good reason, then reveal.

    He also said that if the people get locked the room with the bomb then it is still just as suspenseful because they are trapped and there is a timer. True.

    I think as long as expectations are set up and as long as here is clear motivation in the characters and a clear question like “Will he save her?” then that is what is needed for a thriller and you can have tons of surprises inside of those expectations and inside that question . Your first attack can be part of your set-up, part of setting up the motivation of the villains. But if you ever lose that question of “Will he save her?” Then the hook is gone for your reader, I think. It would take setting up a relentless pursuer. I’m learning here! A lot, actually!
    Last edited by Llyralen; February 25th, 2021 at 07:06 AM.

  5. #25
    Oh okay, thanks for the advice! Are you saying to have the attack happen before the protagonist gets her to the safe house then, as set up?

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