Building Suspense

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I have discovered the problem with my RS. See, it's a bodyguard story, and I'm thinking, if these guys are so big and bad and trying to get to my heroine, how is a bodyguard really going to stop them? I mean, shoot him in the head and take her, right?

That would make for a very short story.

Also, if the bad guys come after her in the capitol building in the first scene, how do I up the stakes from that, you know? Am very frustrated.

I hate setting it aside after my research trip last week, but I'm kinda stumped.

Also, all I want to do is read. I have about 50 pages to go in Black Hills, which is good, but kind of what opened my eyes to my problem (Stop taunting and just get her already!) And I have about 15 books on my iPhone. I could so easily be a convert here, and I have a TON of hard copies to read, plus the 1st Sookie Stackhouse and the new Suze Brockmann waiting for me at the library.



MicheleKS said...

I think your bad guy has to have a reason not to come right at the heroine. There has to be something to hold him back and engage in a little cat-and-mouse if you will. In my current WIP the bad guy has my heroine's brother and also my hero got my heroine far away from the bad guy for now and he hasn't found them yet. Then when my bad guy does go after my heroine he doesn't go full-out as he doesn't want my hero coming after him full-force. So maybe find a way for the bad guy to try and seperate the bodyguard-hero from your heroine?

Just my $0.02.

Mary Curry said...

Interesting dilemma, MJ. I like what Michele said. I guess part of the problem for me is understanding who the bad guys are. I don't know if this would work, but if they could have some reason that makes it better for them to be an ongoing threat it might work. Like if they want her to do something, they need her to be alive to do it, yet they need her to feel threatened if they want her to do it. Does that make any sense?

MJFredrick said...

The dh and I talked about it over breakfast. I half-jokingly said I should make the bodyguard a vampire or zombie so he COULDN'T be killed. But I think I'm going to go with Mary's thought that she needs to be alive. Like you said, Michele, I'm going to get them separated, but way later in the book. Am excited, if I can just get through this revised scene this morning. The rest of the revisions will be light after this and I can devote more time to the WIP.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Chiming in a little late, but isn't "not getting caught" a good enough reason not to come right at them?

Presumably, where she works has security, especially cameras, etc. So the bad guys couldn't really get to her there.

The bodyguard would have her driven straight to work, dropped off as close to the entrance as possible, and hustled inside. It's not easy to shoot someone under those circumstances.

She'd be most vulnerable out in public or at home, and I would assume he'd have similar precautions in public, too. So maybe, instead of having her at home, he's got her in a safe house or hotel and her location is a secret?

All of that can really minimize how easy it would be for the bad guys to get to her. You could then have a couple of aborted attempts. Like, the bad guys intercept her car on the way to work, but it's bulletproof and they can't get to her, and the bodyguard thwarts their efforts with his spectacular driving. Or someone approaches at work, but the bodyguard senses intent and draws down on the guy, who knows he can't get a shot off and get away, especially with her.

Will that help?

Mary Curry said...

I like Natalie's thoughts on this. A couple of close calls could ratchet up the suspense and keep her from realizing that they won't really kill her. If she knows they won't kill her, it kills the suspense, but if they keep her guessing, it gives them a reason for not doing it but her a reason for needing a bodyguard real close (which I presume you want;).

KATZ said...

Hey Mary! How's your iPhone?? I got SOO addicted to reading on mine that it's hard to read hard copies now!

MJFredrick said...

Natalie, this was kind of the direction I was going and then started to second guess myself. I do that too often. I'm kind of excited to be back on track now.

Sarah, I know JUST what you mean about the addiction of the iPhone!!! What program do you read on? I want to buy some more books, though I already have about a dozen on there, not to mention 300 paperbacks!!!


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