Tag Archives: thriller

Open Call Ends August 31, 2020

Sunspot Literary Journal is dedicated to amplifying diverse multinational voices. We offer an Editor’s Prize of $50 for the annual edition. Artwork selected for a cover will be paid $20. Visit SunspotLit.com to download digital editions for free.

All types of prose from flash fiction and poetry to stories and essays, including scripts and screenplays, are welcome. We also accept long-form, novelette, and novella length works up to 49,000 words. Translations welcome, especially with access to the piece in the author’s original language.

One piece per prose submission; two works of visual art per submission.

Use the correct form according to the length of your prose and poetry. Works longer than allowed by the form used will be declined unread.

The Fast Flux options offer a two-week turnaround, with most responses going out within one week.

All submissions must be unpublished (except on a personal blog). Simultaneous submissions welcome. Submit as many times as you like.

Submissions must be sent through Sunspot’s Submittable page.

Better Action Scenes

Authors know that pacing is impacted by how long a particular passage runs. Often the longer the passage, the more time readers experience passing. There is one important exception: when the scene involves high action or suspense.

In this case, one of the best ways to enhance the writing is to slow down. Focus on the details that a character pressed mentally into a high state of alert will notice, and feed those to the reader. Fear, panic and the awareness of danger tends to make people hyper-sensitive to those kinds of details, so providing them in the narrative will connect readers directly with the emotional tone of the scene.

More on YA Trends

Yesterday I discussed the latest trends in YA, and noted that everyone is looking for a YA thriller right now.
It seems that Finland has hit the mark. A YA series has come out and the rights have been sold in 33 territories. The first book, As Red as Flood, was released in Feb 2013. Book two came out in August and the third is scheduled for spring of 2014.

Don’t wait! If you’re finished with a YA thriller, get your pitch together now!

Book Giveaway on Goodreads: Last Chance!

Ten copies of my first novel Message Stick are being given away on Goodreads for 30 days in July. The literary thriller won two national awards and a host of smaller awards.

You have until tomorrow, July 30, to put your name in the hat!

Happy reading!

Crime fiction

Yesterday I posted an article written by a man who was stalked by one of his writing students. Today I’m posting about an article on a different author who thought direct contact with the police force would enhance the novels.

As he discovered, police work is mostly boring. I’ve done some ride-along programs with regional police officers to research my own novels. I’ve found that much of what they do is babysitting. They round up the same drunks and respond to the same noise complaints over and over. Very little of their jobs entail high-stakes action.

But when the stakes do rise, they still have to be ready. This blend of boredom and high-octane work is important to capture in your work. It will make the novel more realistic.

Resource

Here’s an article on a writing instructor who was stalked by a student.

Writers of crime fiction, mysteries, thrillers and suspense novels can turn to real-world experiences such as these for insight into their characters. In this case, since the victim is an author, the experience is presented especially well. The psychology of both victim and stalker is important to understand when you’re aim is to create real characters.