• July 20, 2015 at 12:15 pm #2925
    Tracy Diane Miller

    One of twins suffers from Asperger’s syndrome. She has been unable to bond with her sister, but surprisingly, developed a bond with her sister’s boyfriend until a devastating event destroyed that bond.
    Because I am a twin, I draw on the nuances of my relationship with my sister.Further, as a lawyer, I have some scenes supported by a legal framework.
    My story shifts between the first person and third person. I still working out some wrinkles so I may end up entirely with a first person narrative. My opening scene begins with a flashback. Not sure if this approach is an effective technique to create suspense for the reader.
    I have problems with pacing so I hope that I can utilize Vik’s advice to aid me in pacing.
    Further, I am guilty, I believe, of excessive foreshadowing.

    July 20, 2015 at 3:41 pm #2926
    Vik Rubenfeld

    You’re off to an excellent start! I have received your Class I assignment and will be sending you input via email.

    Also, re: our Twitter conversation on foreshadowing, I have finished Heart of Darkness and am developing a blog post on this subject!

    July 21, 2015 at 12:10 pm #2927
    Tracy Diane Miller

    Looking forwarding to reading your blog post on foreshadowing. Foreshadowing is an intriguing writing technique, but its use can be tricky. I’m interested in seeing your thoughts on this topic.

    July 27, 2015 at 8:28 pm #2942
    Jane Y


    I’m guessing you read Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale, which is about identicals…but with a wild twist. The genre is Gothic mystery, but set in an indeterminate time that might be the 1950s or the present. The book’s rights sold for the low seven figures in the UK, and the book was turned into a TV series with Vanessa Redgrave, available only from the likes of HMV in the UK, where you can still buy DVDs (but you’d need a multi-region DVD player to see it). The series is quite good, but I’d recommend the book. The twins in this book have distinct deficits, useful for building suspense and narrative tension throughout. And the book’s twist has two stings in it, one answering a question you barely knew existed.

    July 29, 2015 at 1:04 pm #2957
    Tracy Diane Miller


    No, I’ve never read The Thirteenth Tale, but your analysis has made me want to read the book. Thanks.

    July 29, 2015 at 2:19 pm #2958
    Jane Y

    Her novel did incredibly well–sold for a record-breaking sum in the UK, became something of a sensation here, and then ended up on television in the UK. The reason? She takes a classic Gothic setting and leaves breadcrumbs in every chapter, along with a ticking clock–the protagonist of the story-within-a-story is terminally ill and wishes to break her lifelong silence on her identity and history by dictating her story to an all-but-unknown writer. The novel has at its heart three mysteries: Who is the elusive author? What happened to her sister? And how do two identical twins manage to behave so wildly differently and pop up in impossible places?

    I recently re-read the book, and it held up well, even to a second re-reading, as you can then see how well Setterfield managed to create and sustain suspense. Also Gothic, of all genres, including mystery, handles foreshadowing most adroitly, as mysteries (of the cozy stripe) aim to make suspects proliferate until virtually the climactic scene, when the number of perpetrators gets narrowed to one (or two). In contrast, the Gothic’s foreshadowing is always hinting at what will be the right direction–except that the outcome should always be the one the reader has never considered.


    Thanks for your encouraging words about the plot lines. Right now, I’m sweating the word count on the novel side, but the proliferating scenes (which exist in an entirely different format, using movie outline software) make story-breaking easier for a limited TV series. And here I was thinking I might not have sufficient scenes to stretch to at least six episodes for a first season.

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