Friday, February 14, 2014



Two weeks ago I wrote how to make your characters unforgettable. This week I’m discussing how to rack up the intensity in your novel. 



SHOW the POV character through his perceptions (what he sees), emotions (what he feels), flashbacks (what he remembers and relives). 

Show three objects the POV character notices.  

For instance, in my book Murder In Istanbul the hero notices, a broken vase, an overturned table, and a high heeled shoe. So he deduces that she attacked the massive thug with the vase to try to help him. The thug overturned the table going after her. Her shoe is missing. She can’t run without her shoe. She must be in shock because she doesn’t know her shoe is missing. (perceptions) 

The three objects are intensifiers. 

Show three unexpected emotions in every scene.  

For instance, in my book Cupid Goes Barnstorming, Rand meets Gloria for the first time. She’s stunning. She has backbone and spirit even if she is one of those new-fangled flappers, and she’s a moocher. Those are his perceptions. His emotions range from she’d complicate his life, he had no money for the gold-digger, but he’d give her the most dangerous job on the planet. (not so much emotions as decisions) - emotions take more time than I have here. But one is definitely unexpected.


Now, if you use flashbacks, throw in the unexpected 

What SCENE do you remember from a book you read (not from a movie)! Does it contain intensifiers?

Leave a comment for a chance to win an autographed copy of Anne’s latest release, Marriage By Arrangement.

On March 1st, Anne will write about how to add an exciting new twist to your book. Come back and visit. Join her followers or add the date to your computer calendar. 

ANNE GREENE delights in writing about wounded heroes and gutsy heroines. Her second novel, a Scottish historical, Masquerade Marriage, won numerous awards. The sequel Marriage By Arrangement released November, 2013.  A Texas Christmas Mystery also won awards. Anne makes her home in McKinney, Texas. Tim LaHaye led her to the Lord when she was twenty-one and Chuck Swindoll is her Pastor. Anne’s highest hope is that her stories transport the reader to an awesome new world and touch hearts to seek a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus. Buy Anne’s books at Talk with Anne on twitter at @TheAnneGreene. Visit Anne’s Facebook page at



  1. You can also leave a scene from one of your books!

  2. Anne: Enjoyed this post. Reminded me of several author Stephen Bly boy meets girl scenes. Here's one. When prison escapee Tap Andrews first meets dance hall girl Pepper Paige in It's Your Misfortune & None Of My Own, both purport to be somebody else. Tap claims he's a rancher who has been writing to an eastern gal now his fiancee and meeting for first time. The rancher was killed on way to station. So was the eastern gal who Pepper now claims to be. They each want a new life and believe this will provide it. But through deception. Their first meeting is tense for both of them. Can he, can she pull it off? Will they suspect? Will he, she like me after all? What will I do when/if the sham is discovered?

  3. Great examples, Anne. I continually strive to improve my writing skills. In the scene from CITY SIDEWALKS, I used intensifiers to create imagery and emotion. My heroine prepares to meet a candidate from a temp agency. The last person she expects to interview is Rudy Gallagher, a man whose heart she'd broken years ago.

    --- “Mrs. King?” He took off his sunglasses and extended his hand. “The agency sent me. Rudy Gallagher.”
    His smooth voice skimmed across Christina’s memory until it splashed into the cool waters of the place she’d last heard it. Lake Tenkiller. Summer Camp. She’d been seventeen.
    Memories rushed in, displacing the air in Christina’s lungs. ---

    Thanks again for a great post, Anne. Bless you as you continue to write for His glory.

    1. Excellent use of intensifiers! Nice to see you here, Julia!

  4. Anne, great post! Not sure I can think of a scene, but I sure want to try and apply this to my writing!

  5. Add your scene here when you have it written. Nice to see you here, Terri!


  6. Good advise, Anne. And clearly stated. These are those little things that separate the novice from the professional.

  7. Yes. Good to see you here, James. I love your comments.

  8. I love your posts! I've never thought about it before, but the scenes I remember most from movies or books are the unexpected ones.

    In my historical WIP, my heroine gets stuck in a mud bog, or something akin to it, and she's grateful when the Lord sends her a rescuer...until the man's face comes into view. The face of the man who broke her heart six years earlier.

    Something I think would be an intensifier in this scene is of course the heroine's (and hero's surprise), but also the heroine has shed her heavy petticoats in her attempts to get out on her own. Of course when the hero finds them in the mud on his way to help her, it causes everyone to be embarrassed. ;) It's played for laughs, but also heightens the tension in an already awkward situation. :)

  9. Hi Natalie, It's really good to see you here! Welcome. I like your excerpt. I'm so glad you shared with us.

  10. Hi Anne, I've noticed some of your books, and was really interested in DAREDEVILS. I review books from publishers and authors, and wanted to introduce myself if you want more reviews. Visit my Blog at I prefer print to eBooks, though. Congratulations on the many books you've all ready written, and continued success.