in my previous post, I mentioned my love of mysteries. It’s what I enjoy
reading, and my chosen means of writing. My latest favorite author is Dani
Pettrey because of her Alaskan Courage series. I picked up the first one, Submerged, when I saw the recommendation
from Dee Henderson on the front. I found out about Susan May Warren’s book the
same way. That recommendation on Susan’s books did not steer me wrong, so I
decided to try another author.
I really didn’t come from a close knit family, I was excited to read a book
featuring five siblings who work together in Alaska who love the outdoors. My
husband and I have been discussing moving to Alaska for a couple of years now,
so the concept of the books intrigued me. Not only do I read the books for enjoyment,
but I study the books. I analyze them like I did with texts when I was in
graduate school. Here are some suggestions on how to study a book to help with
about the characters intrigued me?
I enjoyed seeing these same
characters over and over. I have grown attached to them, so I pay attention to
how Dani describes them. For instance, to describe Kayden, she allowed the
readers to view Kayden through the eyes of Jake, the man in love with her. Dani
writes, “Jake loved the skill and dexterity with which she moved, or rather
glided. Her sculpted arms, though still extremely feminine, were evidence of
the strength she possessed—a strength that ran much deeper than mere
athleticism. He admired her physical strength, but it was the rare glimpses of
her heart that him enthralled” (17). Dani doesn’t give the readers a glimpse of
her physical characteristics, even though we do have those sprinkled in, she
layers the characters’ strength. This is something I’m trying to mimic with my
soon is the inciting incident?
At the bottom of the second page,
Dani places the inciting incident. Kayden comes across a dead body with a
bashed in skull while repelling down the side of a mountain. Are my inciting
incidents that close to the beginning of the book or do I wait too long to
interest the reader?
much dialogue is being used?
My main instinct as a writer is to
use exposition to tell my story. I mean, come on, the readers need to watch the
characters doing things and follow their train of internal dialogue. I have a
really hard time allowing my characters to talk while they are looking at a
dead body or observing the crime scene. Only when they are interviewing someone
connected with the case. Analyzing Dani Pettrey’s book, there is a lot of
dialogue to flush out the characters and the action on the page. Most romantic
suspense writers do this. Something I have been trying to work on.
many different ways can a writer describe something?
For instance, I have a really hard
time coming up with words to describe walking. I use stepping, gliding,
strolling way too many times to count. Something I will have to go back and
fix. I pay attention when writers use different words to describe this action.
Dani Pettrey uses words such as: sidled up beside her, jumping up and running,
grouped everyone together, lowered first, as Landon approached, pacing, he
rushed forward, he sauntered to the doors . . . The list goes on and on. With
practice, I hope to become better at describing the action the character is
makes the book different from all other suspense books on the market?
As an avid suspense reader and
writer, I try to find books that don’t have the same cliché book plots. You know
the ones where you can figure out the murderer before the story is over. That
is why I love Steven James’ Patrick Bowers series. I can’t figure out the
killer. Even though I try to follow the red herrings and clues throughout. Dani
Pettrey amazes her audience with a fast paced novel involving dead bodies and
allowing a family to stick together and solve the crime. The story usually
centers on forgiveness and second chances. Just like I enjoy.
What do you look for when you are studying your
favorite writer’s work? I hope these suggestions will help you become better
writers and readers. I have a review of Dani Pettrey’s latest book, Silenced, up on Amazon if you want to
see my full review on this great book.
Kelly Bridgewater holds a B.S. in English and
a M.A. in Writing from Indiana State University on the completion of a creative
thesis titled Fleeting Impressions,
which consisted of six original short stories. She has been published in the
Indiana State University Literary Journal, Allusions,
with her stories titled “Moving On” and “Life Changing Second.” In fall 2011,
she presented her essay, Northanger
Abbey: Structurally a Gothic Novel, at the Midwestern American Society of
18th Century Studies Conference. Kelly’s writing explores the ideas
of good prevailing over evil in suspense. Kelly and her husband reside with
their three boys and two dogs.