Lessons From Lucy: TENSION

danOn several occasions I’ve mentioned good stuff Lucy Brazier does in her PorterGirl books. Subplots. Settings and descriptions. Character development (or was it being a character?). Writerly things like that.

Another great tactic I see Lucy employee occasionally is interruption.

Why is that important?

Glad you asked.

I mean, if it was obvious, I wouldn’t have to explain it, right?

If you’ll open your Vanishing Lord textbooks


On page 166, it is the second time PorterGirl has sat down with Head Porter to discuss something that is on both of their minds but neither one actually discusses. And both times Head Porter expresses concern that Lucy might be in danger. He wants her to be careful, and she feels  he is sincere in his tone.

And both times she is about to either spill her guts or bridge the gap, they get interrupted.

Now, it’s happened two significant times and to do it a bunch more times would be overdoing it, but to get to the point of tension where the reader wants both sides to say what they know, it’s like an itch they’re dying to scratch – and then to have it postponed, that just raises the tension through the roof!

It’s a brilliant tactic and Lucy has deployed it brilliantly both times.

I mention this because far too often I see new writers have their characters sit down in the dining room with urgent news they have to relate to each other, and they blurt it out and there’s no problems at all; all the information gets conveyed effortlessly.


It’s much more intriguing to tease and hem and haw (writer to reader, that is), and get to the verge of almost saying it – and then have it stopped because of some ridiculous interruption or other.

It’s kind of that roller coaster ride readers just love.

And Lucy has done it brilliantly in her book PorterGirl: The Vanishing Lord.

By the way, Lucy usually finds out I’m posting stuff about her when you do. She has no advance warning and she’s not paying me or or anything.

Published by Dan Alatorre AUTHOR

International bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 17 titles published in over a dozen languages. From Romance in Poggibonsi to action and adventure in the sci-fi thriller The Navigators, to comedies like Night Of The Colonoscopy: A Horror Story (Sort Of) and the heartwarming and humorous anecdotes about parenting in the popular Savvy Stories series, his knack for surprising audiences and making you laugh or cry - or hang onto the edge of your seat - has been enjoyed by audiences around the world. And you are guaranteed to get a page turner every time. “That’s my style,” Dan says. “Grab you on page one and then send you on a roller coaster ride, regardless of the story or genre.” Readers agree, making his string of #1 bestsellers popular across the globe. He will make you chuckle or shed tears, sometimes on the same page. His novels always contain twists and turns, and his nonfiction will stay in your heart forever. Dan resides in the Tampa area with his wife and daughter. You can find him blogging away almost every day on www.DanAlatorre or watch his hilarious YouTube show every week Writers Off Task With Friends. Dan’s marketing book 25 eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew has been a valuable tool for new authors (it’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter) and his dedication to helping other authors is evident in his helpful blog.

4 thoughts on “Lessons From Lucy: TENSION

  1. The great thing about Lucy is that the way she writes is instinctive and completely natural … I’ve said to her more than once … she is a literary phenomenon … and one of these days the world is going to notice the author Lucy Brazier.

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