I started this blog with the intention of writing helpful articles for authors who need writing/publishing advice! I’m fairly new to the business myself, but I’d love to share what I’ve learned!
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
How To Keep The Readers Attention
Writing is hard and it takes a lot of effort. We authors don’t do all
the work we do to have our books shoved away in a drawer to collect
dust. So how is it that we keep our readers attention?
1. Curiosity. In a novel I’m working on called Wolf Heart, one of my
characters, Andrea, has amnesia and wakes up in the house of a
mysterious boy and his mother. Andrea doesn’t know if she can trust the
boy and his mother, she doesn’t know how she got to be in their house,
who her family is, or anything about her past. All of those questions
keep the reader in the story. They want to know what is happening. Their
curiosity keeps them turning pages. Without some kind of curiosity, the
reader will grow bored and then your books goes back to the drawer.
2. Conflict. Let’s face it, drama is exciting. Characters in a world
with no drama are characters I don’t want to hang out with. We read to
escape reality, to live in other people’s troubles. Whether the conflict
be with your characters or your plot, give us a reason to be invested. A
good example of this is the book Maze Runner by James Dashner. In that
book, the main character Thomas and 50 others boys are put in the center
of a maze. They don’t know why they’re there (curiosity) and there are
dangerous obstacles in the way of them getting out. To add even more
conflict, one of the boy’s, Galley, hates Thomas. If
that isn’t enough conflict, a girl shows up in the maze. This makes for a dramatic story that keeps the reader on their toes.
3. Character Arcs. Nothing is better than when we start a book with a
character and then by the end of it, they are a changed person. We like
to see the gradual change of people even if they’re fictional. It makes
us feel like we can change too! Having growth as a character is
important because it delivers a message. The reader will want to know
what that message is and so they will keep reading to find out.