Friday, May 23, 2014

Waiting in Suspense

This baby is due any day now, technically on Monday. I keep telling him we're ready for him but so far he just kicks me in the ribs and hiccups in response. When we finally meet face to face I'll have to give him a talking-to.

So all this waiting for baby makes me think of suspense as a writing tool, which makes me think of Harry Potter. That poor wizard had to wait a lot! He waited until his eleventh birthday to have his weird magical instincts and experiences validated by a giant in an island hut. He waited every summer for school to begin, or for letters from his friends. He waited to spend time with his fugitive godfather... and even then it didn't turn out the way we all hoped.

In the Harry Potter books, while Harry waits, we as readers get acquainted with the Dursleys, the family who raised him. We see what happens to Harry's mood and personality as a result of all his patience and longsuffering. We develop tender feelings for his constant companion Hedwig. We begin to want for Harry what he so desperately wants for himself: a loving family.

How can suspenseful waiting make your WIP better? What are your characters waiting for that will bring their motivations to life?


Angela Kulig said...

Ah yes, I remember this feeling. I also remember writing in the hospital because it felt so good to NOT be pregnant and that was how I wanted to celebrate ;)

Katrina L. Lantz said...

Ah yes, it feels good to be done and to have a sweet little baby in my arms! Writing is a good idea for celebration!