Friday, October 29, 2010

How do your favorite writers maintain tension in books where physical action and danger are delayed from the start of the book?

The book I’m working on now has what I see as a problem and I’m not sure how to fix it. Simply put, the driving tension of the book doesn’t become clear until we’re a few chapters in but I want the book to have a fast, strong start.
Normally, physical action and danger (to the characters and to other people) drive my books from the beginning. In this one, the danger is there but they don’t know about it yet so the main characters are investigating the mysteries facing them at a less than frantic pace. Realistic, but not, I think, really grabbing for the reader.
I’d like to look at how other authors have handled this kind of situation before and I’m looking for suggestions on who you have read that you think has done this kind of thing well.