Guest post on Janice Bashman’s blog: Cut off, with time running out

Thriller author Janice Gable Bashman has kindly invited me to guest post on her writers’ blog. Here’s my piece:

Cut off, with time running out.

Thriller writers grumble that in the twenty-first century, it’s tough to create suspense by isolating a character in dangerous circumstances. For decades, authors could easily strand their heroes in a dark alley, or cast them alone onto a deserted shore, and force them to face down evil forces on their own. It’s a classic way to ratchet up the tension in a story.

But today, everybody has a cell phone. CCTV cameras are everywhere. How could a hero ever find himself alone and out of touch? Characters are never more than two feet from a device that will instantly contact the police, the CIA, or air traffic control, so they can call SWAT for help, expose the terrorist cell, or keep those jumbo jets from colliding.

Yeah, right.

Read the rest.

4 responses to “Guest post on Janice Bashman’s blog: Cut off, with time running out

  1. Hey, I remember in an early Evan book (China Lake?) Evan’s phone kept running out, because the baddies were using it to track her and draining the battery. I thought it was a neat trick to isolate our intrepid protagonist.

  2. I’m a near-Luddite and still reacted to the loss/destruction of cell phones in a certain recently-published novel that I’m in the midst of reading with the horror of Voldemort seeing his last horcrux go up in smoke.

    Meg, I’m doing some serious “pick it up, get sucked in, don’t want to see what happens next, put it down, do too want to see, pick it up” behaviour.

    • Your reading sounds like calisthenics. Or a Latin dance craze. The Bookarena.

      • Indeed–the problem, however, is that it is taking place at bedtime. There’s some major sleep-deprivation going on. And it’s your fault! Well done. I think Jo and Evan are getting on swimmingly.

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