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Monday, September 10, 2007

What They Did Right

Josi S. Kilpack's "Sheep's Clothing"

There's no doubt about it. LDS writers "write" many things right. In previous posts, I've mentioned the importance of studying other writer's (and their publishers) work, so I thought it would be helpful to begin an occasional post titled "What They Did Right" which highlights the book of an LDS author and "celebrates" one writing tool he or she used well. This does not imply, however, that this one element is the only noteworthy element in their work. It only means it's something I thoroughly appreciated about it.

My first entry highlights the suspense in Josi S. Kilpack's book, "Sheep's Clothing." Suspense, by definition, is the state of being uncertain or insecure with a high dose of anxiety; so, since "Sheep's Clothing" is about a teenage girl (and her family) who is "attacked" by an internet predator, Kilpack wisely chose to include the predator's frequent e-mails to the girl as a constant anxiety-boost to the reader of the "Clear and Present Danger" that is lurking around every corner. Of course, as in all Josi's books to date, she also used this technique to provide the "true" information about how a predator can weild so much power over his victim, but that information was incorporated so skillfully that many unwary readers were only aware of the suspense. Not only a good thing, but also a sign of a good writer.


~paulette said...

oooo.... thank you thank you thank you for starting a topic on this. i look VERY much forward to reading your thoughts.

suspense gets me EVERY time as a reader. it nearly drives me crazy and turns those pages faster than ever. Most books it's only in those last couple chapters, but sound like it's something to remember through the rest of the book as well... thanks for the tip

Tristi Pinkston said...

I agree -- Kilpack did a great job with this book.