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The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing, 3rd Edition by Writer's Digest Writer's Digest Editors

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Chapter Sixty

Kathryn Craft

How Structure Supports Meaning

Janice Gable Bashman

In The Far End of Happy, Kathryn Craft novelizes her first husband’s suicide standoff with the police by confining the story to its true twelve-hour time frame. Adding a ticking clock is a well-known way to inject edge-of-the-seat tension into thrillers and suspense novels, but Kathryn co-opted the technique for her women’s fiction. The novel’s one-hour blocks add a sense of weight to each unfolding moment of that fateful day. While Kathryn expands the frame of the story with pertinent events that brought the characters to this moment in time, and while she suggests the ramifications for their futures should they not be able to face their issues, the reader senses ...

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