You never stop.
And there are so many ways to learn. You can study, you can read, you can do, you can listen to the masters, you can talk to your peers. You can do all that stuff.
Something I like to do is read books that I (obviously) enjoy and when I find parts that just blow me away with awesomeness, I dig into them to find out why and see if I can learn the engineering behind the words and use the techniques for my own writing.
Last year I wrote an article about doing just that for suspense writing. Its about six pages long and looks at both my technique for learning and an analysis of the techniques used by both Dean Koontz and Lee Child for their suspense.
If you are at all interested in learning how to improve your suspense writing there are no better teachers than Dean Koontz and Lee Childs.
I’ve pasted the opening of the article below:
Suspense is a wonderful thing. Especially in fiction. It is what keeps you turning the page. It’s what makes you think ‘one more chapter’. It’s what keeps you enthralled until the birds wake up the next morning.
Suspense is a wonderful thing.
But it can be hard to do it right.
Suspense is a powerful tool and it can be used on a micro scale or a macro scale. Think of a detective or mystery novel. The suspense is linked to the question: “Who killed Miss Scarlet in the lounge with the candlestick?” or “Who is behind these terror attacks?” and, “Can they be stopped?”
You should check this article out. If you are a writer you may just take away a nugget or two for the future. If you are a reader, you’ll never look at a suspense novel the same way again. I’d love to hear what you think too, so please leave a comment if you can.
Here is the Link to Suspense Writing Article