Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dear Alfred


What would Alfred do?

Dear Alfred Hitchcock,
I've reached the point in my suspense where I have to make a decision. Do I let the reader in on the secret? Do I show the reader the bad stuff? The secret stuff? Or do I forge ahead, keeping the reader and the protagonist in the dark?

As you well know (because of our many conversations),  I'm a deep POV person, so I lean toward not telling. I lean toward letting the reader find out along with the main character.  Because I want the reader to BE the main character.  But I know it depends upon the situation. I know it depends upon the story.

 How do I get the most emotional bang for my buck? Because it's all about emotion, isn't it?  When we really strip it down? No matter what we're writing. Fiction. Nonfiction. Science Fiction. Romance. Mystery. Thriller.  Suspense.

Dear Uncle Alfred, can you tell me? Should I let the reader in on the person hiding in the closet?  What would you do?


  1. I believe you're spot on. Its also a Dwight Swain teaching. A story is feelings.

    Don't know if I ever told you this before, but I'd written several historicals and wasn't catching on to how to get a contemporary voice, when I decided to read a favorite book for inspiration. There on the pages, you had the characters entering a shabby motel and in the character's viewpoint the lamp looked like something from the Jetsons.

    Something clicked in my brain and I got it. I understood how to write with a contemporary voice.

    So thanks. You're my inspiration.

  2. Oh, Cheryl. Miss you!!!! Your comment left me a bit teary, and it's not just the glogg speaking. Hope we run into each other again some day. You've driven home that I need to stick to my strengths and it will all be okay.