Ross Montgomery Creates Suspense in Prep School
As a perfect precursor to their visit to see Woman In Black, author Ross Montgomery talked to three U3rd classes about how to create tension and build up a sense of dread in the reader. A Christmas Dinner of Souls, Ross’s most recent book, demonstrates wonderfully how each story told is a little bit scarier than the last, building up to a climax which is totally chilling. In workshops with U3rds and L3EC, and with emphasis on the importance of editing, revising, and constantly looking for the best word possible, the pupils created together a scenario which is not for the faint hearted:
Alex walked, almost blindly, across the brittle grass. Every footstep felt as if it got louder. Alex urged himself on. He felt as if mystic figures were watching him. Chokingly thick fog stung his eyes. He felt the dead hands of a rotting corpse clutch at his stomach, penetrating his soul.
Suddenly, a low moan rose from the silence.
During the lunch time book club, Ross listened to the pupils’ views on The Christmas Dinner of Souls, with the story The Beast being voted the one they thought was the scariest. Ross was also interested to hear their views on how a possible sequel could be written!
In the afternoon Ross introduced all of his books to the Form 1/2 audience and then focused their attention on creating an alien!
It was an action packed day, and so rewarding to see how many of the pupils had already begun reading one of Ross’s books and then joined the queue to buy another. Form 1 and 2 pupils will get a chance to tell him what they think of their book club choice, Perijee and Me, on Thursday December 7th, when Ross has agreed to join in the discussion by Skype.
Mrs Pike, Prep School Librarian