Today I'm pleased to hand the blog over to author Kat Bastion who's popping in to talk a little bit about the writing of her newest adult paranormal romance novel, Forged in Dreams and Magick. She's also generously offering up a paperback copy of the book to one lucky winner, so be sure and check out the bottom of the post for all the giveaway details. Welcome to Supernatural Snark Kat!
Electrifying a Scene: Tension in Forged in Dreams and Magick
When I imagined the scenes in my paranormal romance novel, Forged in Dreams and Magick, they burst into my mind and flowed onto the page, full of energy and passion, chemistry sizzling.
How does an author bring the exciting adventure to life for the reader?
By creating tension.
Which would you rather be a passenger in?
A McLaren rocketing down the Autobahn, pushing Mach 1, careening to avoid a projectile hurtling toward the windshield while you white-knuckle grip the edge of the dashboard?
Or an aged Volvo sedan whose check engine light laughs aloud as the accelerator defies its purpose, your ride coasting to an unremarkable stop?
You got out of the Volvo, banished the bland experience, and hitched a ride in the sexy, dangerous McLaren, didn’t you?
Tension manifests both internally and externally in a compelling story. The internal conflict powers our ability to get to know the characters, enabling us to feel their roller-coaster emotions. External hazards lay the obstacle course that our hero and heroine must journey through to make it to the other side.
Their adventure along the way is the amazing story.
How does an author craft such an elusive, but critical, component?
The outer layer of any gripping novel is the exhilarating plot, along with the character’s corresponding goals, motivation, and conflict within its framework.
When we peel away a layer of our powerful onion, each chapter should have a goal at the beginning, challenges our characters face getting there, and either a positive or negative resolution.
The deeper layers break the chapters down to their scene, the paragraphs within, and the sentence structure holding everything together.
And then there are the words…
Well-chosen words have immense power. Why use sentences to explain what a character feels, if a few delectable words plunge you there in one heart-wrenching gasp?
One can even create tension in a title. Take this blog post.
The title originally began as “Tension in a Scene,” which was my topic. Okay. While a good start, it felt like our Volvo. I escalated to “Charging the Scene” and graduated the experience to maybe a Ferrari or a Porsche. I wanted a thrill-ride title to capture your interest, though, and transformed it into “Electrifying the Scene,” and here we are.
Writing style also plays a critical factor in creating a page-turning adventure. During the editing process, I rearrange, restructure, break apart and reshape sentences until I feel the conflict coming through.
The best way I’ve found to incorporate tension into every dimension and facet of a story is to dig deep into the emotion of the characters. What’s at stake? How important is their goal, and what are they willing to risk to get it? When is the best time to throw the worst event imaginable at them? Will they discover who they are when severely tested? Where will the journey lead them and how will they grow?
One final word of advice: Be sure to give your readers plenty of smooth-coasting moments along the journey in between the harrowing twists and turns to give them a chance to breathe.
Now that you’ve had a peek into how I weave tension into a story from the height of the plot down to the power of a single word, I encourage you to experience the journey yourselves by reading Forged in Dreams and Magick.
I hope you have an electrifying adventure!
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Kat Bastion is an award-winning paranormal romance writer, poetic warrior, and eternal optimist who loves getting lost in the beauty of nature.
On a never-ending, wondrous path of self-discovery, Kat throws her characters into incredible situations with the hope that readers join her in learning more about the meaning of life and love.
Her first published work, Utterly Loved, was shared with the world to benefit others. All proceeds from Utterly Loved, and a portion of the proceeds of all her other books, support charities who help those lost in this world.
Kat lives with her husband amid the beautiful Sonoran Desert of Arizona.
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FORGED IN DREAMS AND MAGICK
Found in the arms of her second soul mate . . .
Forced to balance the delicate strands of time between two millennia . . .
Shocked by revelations rewriting the very foundations of history . . . of everything.
Isobel, a rising-star archaeology student, is dropped into two ancient worlds without warning . . . or her permission. Her fiery spirit resists the dependency thrust upon her. Amid frustration at her lack of control, she helplessly falls in love. Twice.
She struggles to adjust to the unimaginable demands of two leaders of men—a laird in the thirteenth-century Highlands and a Pict chieftain in a more ancient Scotland. Isobel transforms from an academic, hell-bent on obtaining archaeological recognition, to a woman striving to care for those she loves, and ultimately . . . into a fearless warrior risking everything to protect them.
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Kat is offering up a signed paperback copy of Forged in Dreams and Magick today, to enter just fill out the Rafflecopter below! Giveaway is international.
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