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.

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