Procrastination Pitstop

Writer (co-Author of Marissa Alwin), Mom, Wife, Dreamer, who every once in a while needs a moment away from it all

What watching Disney taught me about writing suspense


It’s all in the timing

Sometimes you’ve got it all. Awesome characters, a cool plot, a great setting and the perfect amount of description, but it still lacks something. You need a bit more, but what is it? What does the story need? I’ve decided that suspense is often the unsung hero.  

My kids are 4 and 6. Frozen was really the only Oscar-nominated movie I got to see. And because kids like watching movies over and over I get to watch them over and over too. I have to admit that Pixar and Disney are among the best story tellers. A similarity I noticed with their plots is that there is almost always a time constraint. The role it plays varies, but it is always there. It adds suspense, it improves pacing, and it always adds to the conflict. 

Consider these:

  1. Frozen: The town is literally frozen. People are going to die. Anna has to find Elsa to thaw it.
  2. Up: Carl wants to get his house to Paradise Falls. He uses helium balloons to fly the house there, but the helium will only last a certain amount of time.  
  3. Toy Story 1: Andy’s family is moving. Buzz and Woody have to get back before the moving van leaves or they won’t know where the new house is.   
  4. Tangled: Rapunzel has been locked in a tower her entire life. Once a year, on her birthday, the sky is filled with lanterns. She will do anything to see them. She blackmails Eugene to take her to the town where the lanterns are launched. 
  5. Epic: The Leaf People can only pick their new queen on the one night when the solstice and the full moon coincide. This only happens every 100 years. The queen chose a new pod, but she has died. The pod must open in the light of the full moon for the new queen to be crowned. 
  6. Beauty and the Beast: Belle must fall in love with The Beast before the rose dies.  
  7. Little Mermaid: Eric must kiss Ariel before the sun sets on the third day. 
  8. Monsters Inc.: The city of Monstropolis runs on scream-energy that is collected by scaring children. The city is running out of power. The monsters need to up their game to get more screams. 
  9. Finding Nemo: Darla (a fish killer) is coming in a few days. Nemo is her gift.
  10. Cars: McQueen has to get to L.A. before the other racers to start practising for the final race.

And for people, who actually get to watch real movies, think of stories like The Life of David Gale. The journalist races to find the evidence before the execution date. In the series 24, Jack Bauer has a time limit to thwart terrorists. 

Use wedding dates, bombs with timers, board meetings, deadlines, solar eclipses, or anything that ups the odds for your characters. 

by Mia Botha for Writers Write



Final sentences: 

When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.

from “A Brave and Startling Truth

She turned out the light and I patted my son’s head lightly and went back to sleep.

from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I rise
I rise
I rise.

from “Still I Rise



Source for Comic: Too much Coffee Man


Source for Comic: Too much Coffee Man


You know you’re a writer when…


"Women shouldn’t be valued because we are strong, or kick-ass, but because we are people.  So don’t focus on writing characters who are strong.  Write characters who are people.


Disney Princess edition

(via christinedabo)

The days may not be so bright and balmy—yet the quiet and melancholy that linger around them is fraught with glory. Over everything connected with autumn there lingers some golden spell—some unseen influence that penetrates the soul with its mysterious power. ~Northern Advocate

The days may not be so bright and balmy—yet the quiet and melancholy that linger around them is fraught with glory. Over everything connected with autumn there lingers some golden spell—some unseen influence that penetrates the soul with its mysterious power. ~Northern Advocate

“A white lace of frost webs the sidewalk a kaleidoscope of leaves. Hillsides are ablaze with flame-colored trees, fields lie fallow and dark, and cornstalks dry to the color of bone in the low golden sun. The sky promises rain tonight and winds rise to torture the clouds. Fog swirls down the darkened street, shrouding the candlelit grin of a glowing jack-o-lantern, and the veil between the land of the living and the land of the dead grows as thin and insubstantial as the mist.” by Michele Morgan In ancient times, Balefires burned on every hillside and great feasts were held. A place was set at the table for family members who had passed on to the Spirit world. For the Celts, this was New Year’s Eve. Go out and celebrate, pausing to honor the ancestors who came before and may walk with you as you trick or treat. Pass on some of their wisdom to your children Leave some bread and wine outside as an offering to the wandering souls and the Faeries. Make sure you have some jack o-lanterns or luminaries lighting the way for them to your home! The grinning pumpkins provide protection as well.If you are blessed to have some time alone, contemplate the coming winter, and use this time out of time to let die old ways of thinking, outworn beliefs, and negative patterns. Happy Samhain! Happy All Hallow’s Eve! Happy Halloween! And as the wheel turns…Happy Celtic New Year

Those who died at Institutions, Names Replacing Numbers

Between 1866 and 1997, more than 13,000 Minnesotans died in the state’s 11 mental hospitals and were buried in graves marked only with a number — if they were marked at all. People could be institutionalized for almost any reason. Some struggled with mental illness, or a physical disability or substance abuse. Some had epilepsy, or were children with Down syndrome, or women suffering from postpartum depression. Orphaned children or pregnant mothers could be dropped off and remain there for the rest of their live