What’s good writing for you?

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What I will start this post with could very well scandalize some of you. There are some so called masterpieces in literature which have left me stone cold. May be the choice of the book at that age was all wrong. Whatever be the reason, for example, when I was in my late teens, I really struggled through  Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” which is considered a historic epic. I don’t think I completed it either, even after several false starts. Call it bias or what you will, but I am not inclined to give it another shot more than 40 odd years later.


My 5 Rules for Writing Thrillers

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““The way to write a thriller is to ask a question at the beginning, and answer it at the end.” This quote is attributed to the well-known writer of thrillers Lee Child, in this article in Writers Digest. More

First Person or Third Person?

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Are you more comfortable writing in the first person? Do you use the more conventional third person? I deliberately chose to use the first person narrative in my debut novel, “It Cant Be You”.  In this psychological thriller, the head of the family is found dead at the very start of the story. His wife, son and daughter do not know whether he was killed or he killed himself.


Credible Writing

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Suspense/Thriller Writers is a group on Facebook which I visit quite frequently. It has interesting posts and interesting people, most of them keen on making a name in this genre of writing. Pat Bertram provoked thought with a recent post, as she does from time to time so effectively.

She said we know the  Big Five C’s in writing, which are:-

  • Character
  • Conflict
  • Change
  • Contrast (contrast in settings, between characters, in dialogue)
  • Caring (what the character cares for, and making the reader care for the character)

We were asked to add to the list of “Cs” which make effective writing. My instinctive reaction was to add “C for Credibility”. This was top most on my mind for two reasons. The first is that I just finished a novel by a major best-selling author, who shall remain unnamed for the present. The book got off to a great start but left me disappointed at the end. I didn’t find it gripping enough. On reflection, I realized that what the protagonist was doing was totally incredible. He was superman personified and this was a huge let down for me. Have you felt the same any time?

The second reason and perhaps what strikes me even more is that as a writer myself, I am very conscious of making both my plots and my characters very credible. People should relate easily to them and feel the story is believable. If the plot or the characters are outlandish by far  they will be disappointed. You want them to think of the characters as people they have known, seen or heard about.

To me, therefore, credibility is a hallmark of a good writer. To be successful,  within the norms expected of the genre you write in, your plot and characters have to be credible.