Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Up the Ante

One of my favorite books is ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel’ by Baroness Orczy. Recently I spotted it on Netflix, and my husband, who prefers movies to books, suggested we watch it. There are three episodes and we have watched the first two. Last night as we watched the ending (spoiler alert) I noted something. The informant told the revolutionaries – who control the government and ‘Madame la Guillotine’ – that the supporters of the republic (and the king), led by Vicomte Henri would attack Calais in the morning along with the Scarlet Pimpernel and his accomplice.

I expected that somehow the Pimpernel and his group would discover that the revolutionaries knew their plan. This did not happen. Morning came and they attacked Calais and a bloody battle ensued. That high stress situation was brilliantly played out on me, the viewer. I did not know how they were going to get out of the mess they marched into. As writers, those kinds of situations ‘hook’ our readers and keep them wanting more, wanting to find out how things work themselves out. So ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that could happen to my protagonist(s) right now?” It makes for heightened adventures and I’ve-consumed-a-whole-bag-of-chocolates-without-realizing-it reading! Write On!


  1. I am going to look for it on Netflix. I have always loved that book. You are so right when authors let their characters get in a mess I am on pins and needles.

  2. Hi Peggy,
    Great interview on the AI newsletter. And yes, we have to throw our MC into a mess. Also, I like to give my readers a little something they know is coming. That way, when the big bang happens, it really throws them for a loop. Mwahahahaha. =D

  3. I've got to read that. My list of books is growing too large! Help!


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