A famous man, sometime, somewhere said that when your plot is dragging, bring in a man with a gun.
Some authors take this literally. A man and a gun. Bing-Bang-Boom, you're dead. That can be extremely effective in the right place. But the man-with-the-gun syndrome can be used figuratively, and to great effect in other places. I can think of two right off the top of my head:
- And Humor
Now for humorous man-with-the-gun. I love using it in this category. I like drawing the reader in and suddenly banging them over the head with a surprise that leaves them laughing and a little dizzy. It's the naughty child in me, I suppose. :P Here are a couple examples from my recent project:
"Darby frowned and plugged his other ear, so as to hear better. Still, he could catch nothing but an occasional word.
"From the ad...children...second Tuesday...credentials...blueberries."
Blueberries? Darby growled in disgust. It gave more irritation than satisfaction, hearing these gnats of conversation."
"The children and the newcomer faced each other, and for the first time in their brief acquaintance, they got a good look at one another. No words were spoken, but volumes were said, and the Feeling grew larger and stronger until Adelaide blushed, and Bertram quivered. Charlotte chomped the end of her pigtail, Darby plucked his rubber-bands like the strings of a lyre, and Eugenie and Fergus played hot-potato with a black-beetle that had somehow found its way into their possession."
"The littlest twins clambered onto the bed beside her, and showed their prettiest dimples when she did not push them away as Mum did, but gathered them into her lap and actually gave them her locket to play with. It was a beautiful locket—golden and etched with fantastical swirls like the writing on the cover of a story-book—and Eugenie put it into her mouth directly."
I got into the habit of doing it by getting so tickled when I would read such a thing in a book that I would laugh out loud and find my sisters staring at me strangely. I learn well by example, and pick up bits and pieces of other authors' brilliancy. :) So bring in your man-with-a-gun, either figuratively or literally, and try it out when your writing is feeling stale. It's *so* much fun!