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If you enjoy my blog and would like to contact me, you may reach me at this email:

Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

They Get You Each Time

One of the best thrillers I've ever seen (and seen and seen and seen) is "Night of the Hunter." Robert Mitchem -- one of the scariest guys on screen in the forties, fifties and sixties --plays the classic wolf in sheep's clothing, a murderous con-man posing as a man of the cloth so he can work his evil without the townspeople suspecting him.

He worms his way into the good graces of a young widow with two children so he can find out where her deceased husband hid money from a bank robbery.
When the widow discovers his plan, he murders her then chases and terroizes the two children as they flee down-river.

As many times as I've seen that movie and know that eventually the boy and little girl are saved and the bad guy gets his, it still makes my heart quiver.

Why do we watch some movies over and over? Why do we read some books and never feel the urge to read it again, while others draw us in each time we open its pages?
When I watch Robert Mitchum riding a stolen horse down that stark depression-era road, singing "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms," I want to shout: "Run! Hide! He's coming. He's going to cut you up with his knife!"

The director --I believe it was Charles Laughton, --did something with the set, the actors and the music and the camera angles that make you feel you're those two kids and Robert Mitchum is going to get YOU!

There's so much in a good movie to be gleaned and studied for the writer. How can I use words to create that same kind of "You are there" experience for my readers?

Writers, what is your favorite trick for bringing your readers into this kind of intimate emotional experience? What is the book or movie that most draws you? I'd love to hear your comments.

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