Friday, Mar 23, 2012

Keep Your Reader Turning Pages

Whether you write fiction for children or adults, the techniques for engendering reader interest are the same. Stated in a single sentence it is this: “Keep your reader turning pages.” 

Well said, but how do you keep your reader turning pages?  Here are a few techniques that will help you:

  • End every scene with a question that demands to be answered. Notice I underlined demand. Some questions can wait to be answered tomorrow or after dinner, but you want to end each scene with a question that demands to be answered now. This question does not have to be in the form of an interrogative sentence, of course. And in fact, it is better if it is not. But your closing sentence must raise an unrelenting question in the reader’s mind regarding what your protagonist is going to do next.
  • Keeping increasing the stakes for your protagonist. Pile on the problems, with each one worse than the one before until you she faces the one problem that seems insurmountable.
  • Learn to write in deep POV.  This means becoming your character.  Think, feel, see, hear, smell, taste, and touch through your character.  There are specific techniques you can use to learn how to write in deep POV.  For my post on those techniques, check out my series of posts beginning on June 10, 2011.

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