Elements of Fiction Writing: Conflict & Suspense
by James Scott Bell
Writer’s Digest Books, 2011
$16.99 paperback, 256 pages
Read an Excerpt!
Learn surefire techniques to help you brainstorm for conflict.
Download a free PDF of Bell’s in-depth conflict analysis of his novel No Legal Grounds.
About the Book
Ramp up the tension and keep your readers hooked! Inside you’ll find everything you need to know to spice up your story, move your plot forward, and keep your readers turning pages. Expert thriller author and writing instructor James Scott Bell shows you how to craft scenes, create characters, and develop storylines that harness conflict and suspense to carry your story from the first word to the last.
Learn from examples of successful novels and movies as you transform your work from ho-hum to high-tension.
- Pack the beginning, middle, and end of your book with the right amount of conflict.
- Tap into the suspenseful power of each character’s inner conflict.
- Build conflict into your story’s point of view.
- Balance subplots, flashbacks, and backstory to keep your story moving forward.
- Maximize the tension in your characters’ dialogue.
- Amp up the suspense when you revise.
Conflict & Suspense offers proven techniques that help you craft fiction your readers won’t be able to put down.
About the Author
James Scott Bell is the best-selling author of more than twenty novels, Write Great Fiction: Plot & Structure, Write Great Fiction: Revision & Self-Editing, and The Art of War for Writers. Learn more at www.jamesscottbell.com.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Conflict
CHAPTER 1 What a Great Story Is Really All About
CHAPTER 2 Brainstorming for Conflict
CHAPTER 3 The Foundations of Conflict
CHAPTER 4 The Structure of Conflict
CHAPTER 5 Point of View and Conflict
CHAPTER 6 Opening With Conflict
CHAPTER 7 Keep It Moving in the Middle
CHAPTER 8 Subplots, Flashbacks, and Backstory
CHAPTER 9 Inner Conflict
CHAPTER 10 Conflict in Dialogue
CHAPTER 11 Conflict in Theme
CHAPTER 12 Styling for Conflict
CHAPTER 13 Revising for Conflict
CHAPTER 14 Tools for Conflict
Part 2: Suspense
CHAPTER 15 What Happens Next?
CHAPTER 16 Cliff-Hangers
CHAPTER 17 Stretching the Tension
CHAPTER 18 Dialogue and Suspense
CHAPTER 19 Suspense in Setting
CHAPTER 20 Style and Suspense
CHAPTER 21 Instant Suspense
CHAPTER 22 Putting It All Together
Appendix: A Conflict Analysis of Two Novels