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Thursday, April 12, 2007

What's your formula?

I recently read an article with Dee Henderson where she suggested looking for your writing strengths then writing your own formula that defines your personal voice. This kind of formula doesn’t take away the uniqueness of your stories, instead it draws upon the strengths and gives you measurable markers for your writing that will work every time.

I decided the idea was worth following up on and came up with my own formula for my suspense novel. Here’s what I came up with.

*Explosive opening event
*Short chapters that keep the reader turning pages
*Strong cliff hangers at the end of each chapter
*Unique setting with interesting details
*Moving dialogue that explores spiritual issues
*Characters that are three dimensional
*Recognizable growth of the characters
*A dark, impossible moment leading up to the ending
*Ticking bomb time frame

If you’re interested in reading the article and Dee Henderson’s formula click here.

Try it!



Blogger :-)Ronie said...

Kewl formula, Lisa! I'm afraid I'm a bit doomed on the short chapter length, as you know. LOL My chapters are always on the long side.

8:49 AM  
Blogger Lisa Harris said...

Remember that each person will have a different ‘formula’ that emphasizes your particular strengths and goal for your book. So Ronnie, your formula would include long chapters with killer hooks. Make yours personal and what works for you!


9:00 AM  
Blogger Ed J. Horton said...

Wow! Thank you for the post. I've been wondering how to define my 'voice' and hadn't tried putting it into words. So I gave it a try and here's the result...
1. Powerful first sentence in the book
2. Explosive opening scene
3. Spiritual theme that inspires faith
4. More clipped sentences than longer conjunctive ones
5. Show recognizable growth in main characters
6. Research facts, figures, and history while weaving it into an absorbing story
7. Moving dialogue with humor and serious heart-to-hearts to balance the action
8. Compelling plot that moves at a page burning (yes, burning) pace
9. Gripping twists and turns leaving the reader saying “Didn’t see that one coming!”
10. Spiritually enlightening moment leading up to the ending.

5:52 PM  
Blogger Lisa Harris said...

Yours are great, Ed. Anyone else want to share. I want to continue to work on defining mine further and perhaps glean a bit from others in the process. :-) This has really got me thinking more on specifically what I want to include in each book.


2:47 AM  

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