Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How to Heighten Suspense Employing Ancillary Events

In writing my novel STALKING THE SKY, I wanted to associate the corporate raider, J. Stephen Girard, a ruthless, cunning predator deliberating on whether to seize a premier airline, with a merciless flying predator of a different sort, a trained falcon.

Here's an excerpt:

Finally, the Arab extended his gloved hand, held it there long enough for the falcon to gain her balance, and then cast her upward. Her jesses released, the falcon leaped forward, and with one beat of her powerful wings she was airborne and climbing. Higher and higher she ascended, spiraling upward until she was only a speck herself. Then she hovered motionless, the sun behind her, awaiting the inevitable moment when the guileless pigeons' flight would carry them beneath her.

Girard had sensed the excitement mounting within him as the peregrine sped upward. He felt a kinship with the soaring predator. Every part of her body had been designed by nature for her single purpose in life, the hunt. Success at the hunt meant survival.

The falcon had already chosen which was to be her victim and the point in the sky where they would meet. She seemed to wait forever, as if, hypnotized by the magic of flight, she had forgotten the kill. Then, almost too late, the wings snapping tight against her body, she suddenly plummeted. Faster she dove, until she was no more than a streaking blur. At the last instant, wings and tail spread, talons clenched, she swooped sharply upward into her prey, knocking the pigeon senseless. Helplessly, it fluttered downward like a pinwheel. Within seconds the falcon's claws clenched the stunned bird, and she was returning to earth. There she would mantle the pigeon with her wide wings before taking its neck within her beak and breaking it.

At that moment J. Stephen Girard decided it was time to bid for control of Global Universal Airlines.


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