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Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot by Jane Cleland

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Chapter Ten

Whisper, Don’t Shout

All of nature whispers its secrets to us through its sounds.

—Rudolf Steiner

Picture a man standing on a busy city street. He looks up, wondering what it would be like to work in a skyscraper, and he sees a woman tottering on the edge of the roof, about to jump. He yells, “Don’t jump!”and runs toward the building, then, realizing he can’t save her single-handedly, he calls 9-1-1. He runs back across the street so he can see, but he doesn’t look up; instead, he keeps his eyes on the intersection, waiting for the rescue team to arrive, shouting, “Oh, God. Oh, God. Oh, God.” Passersby stare at him as they hurry past, thinking he’s a nut.

Now picture this: A man standing on a busy city street looks up, wondering what ...

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