“I couldn’t put it down! Those words are some of the most satisfying comments an author can receive. Nothing pleases me more than a note from someone grumbling about staying up late to finish one of my books.
It’s music to my ears.
There are lots of ways to earn those precious words. Writing a fast-paced novel is one of them. It is certainly my goal every time I start a new book.
My latest, BEYOND CONTROL, was no different. I knew I would be writing Joshua Cain’s story, Lincoln Cain’s brother from BEYOND REASON. I had introduced Josh in that story so I knew what he was like–smart, strong, determined, former military. Totally hot. I always try to find the hero’s perfect match and though at first Victoria Bradford, raisng a four-year-old daughter, seemed unlikely, as the tale moved forward I could tell they would perfectly suit.
If they survived the terrible ordeal they were facing.
I like to read books that draw me in and won’t let go, books I can’t wait to pick up again to find out what’s going to happen next.
There are a lot of ways writers can create those kinds of stories. Pairing down description makes the story move faster–or as Elmore Leonard said, “I try to leave out the parts people skip.” Often the scenes are set in familiar places that don’t require much description.
A Hollywood movie trick is enter late and leave early. It means jumping right into the scene–leaving out the, “Hello, how are you?” “I’m fine, how are you?”
Hooks at the beginning and end of chapters are helpful. It’s a technique I try to use, though some authors end a chapter in the middle of the action to keep you turning the pages.
I’ve found I do a lot of characterization by showing how the hero, heroine, and sub characters react to a situation. For instance, I don’t don’t care what the heroine did in high school unless it’s important to how she’ll solve the problem in which she is currently involved.
But every author has his own method of developing a novel.
In BEYOND CONTROL, Victoria Bradford and her four-year old daughter are on the run from Tory’s abusive ex-fiancé. Seventy miles north of Dallas, the Iron River Ranch is pretty much nowhere, exactly what Josh Cain wanted when he came back from Afghanistan. Big skies, quiet nights, no trouble.
One look tells Josh the pretty redhead who showed up on his door with her adorable little girl will give him trouble of the most personal kind. But Josh has seen trouble before, and he doesn’t scare easy. Not when “accidents” start happening around the ranch. Not when Tory’s best friend is abducted.
Not even when it looks like their current problems are only just the beginning.
I hope you’ll watch for BEYOND CONTROL and that you enjoy it. All best wishes and happy reading, Kat