Thursday, May 22, 2008

"Itchy" Writing

Know what one of my favorite things about a good book is? The way it sticks to my fingers, making me flip those pages until far into the night so that I can find out what happens next. Just one more page, I'll think...but before I know it, another hour has passed.

What is it that keeps me flippin' and pages stickin'?

Conflict. Most of us avoid conflict like the plague in real life, but live for it in our fiction. Go figure!

I love to write conflict--and not just those dire moments when the hero's life is in danger or the killer's identity is revealed, either. I revel in the minor niggles, that subtle tension between characters that feels like an itch lingering just out of reach--one that desperately needs to be scratched. Conflict keeps our fingers flipping the pages of a good book, looking for the back scratcher that will let us reach that itchy spot and satisfy it.

What about you? Do you like your books to flow softly, or to feel like a good case of poison oak? Inquiring minds want to know!

Readers: What makes a book "itchy" to you? A tense plot? Quirky characters? A particular sub genre, like paranormal or romantic mystery?
Writers: How do you make your books "itchy?" Body language? Cheeky dialogue? Strategically placed chapter breaks?

Let's grab our back scratchers and toss some itching powder on the discussion!

Lisa Logan is the author of A GRAND SEDUCTION, VISIONS, and several anthologies and short stories. She is the editor of and for Eternal Press, and founded the Green Writing Challenge.

1 comment:

Wendy Laing said...

Hi Lisa,
My Jane Doe Mystery series have 'itchy' writing in that my protagonist can communicate with ghosts. Senior Inspector Jane Doe is in charge of Melbourne's Special Crimes unit. After a near death experience from a severe head injury received by a serial killer, she finds that she can see and communicate with murder victims! This adds a personal tension in that she cannot reveal this new found ability - the police force might 'pension' here out as mentally unfit to work.

My readers also enjoy the paranormal theme in the stories.

Wendy Laing