As writers we all know in a story format we have a beginning and an end, but what goes in between, you might ask? If you ask a writer they might say ‘a middle’, some would retort, ‘story’, and some might even say, ‘a knock ‘em sock ‘em dragged up and down the halls of word sensory driven story!’ Okay, they won’t say that but I would.
What I’m saying is, you start from the very first words to pull your reader in. Without the punch, you may lose the reader. You need to hook your reader in the first few sentences or they stop reading. I try to give a book I’m reading a few pages before I give up. I’m generous, what can I say.
If they have not piqued my interest in a few pages I’m almost certain that they are not going to be suddenly inspired to have me excited in the middle only to let me down with a bad ending.
No, a writer knows, if you’ve got the reader hooked in the first few pages they will more than likely read the middle and end. So you give them a story they can sink their teeth into and you can be proud to call your own.
I like imagery; I’m a poet. When I read a novel I sometimes look at the technique in which a writer chose to write their story. Often times I’m a learner and not a reader, shame on me. BUT, if there is enough meat in the story to keep me reading right along, I won’t be sidetracked by the writer in me trying to decipher, “Why did they write THAT?”
I love picking apart the story arc where the writer hooked me, gave me some structure with the dialogue, back story, the heightening of the conflict and the descent as we come down the mountain to a conclusion.
Here’s what you might look for as a writer and reader:
1. A hook! To keep the reader reading.
- A line. All the right lines actually full of sensory that the reader is drooling and anticipating juicier meant!
- A sinker. This is where you’ve reeled your reader into the enjoyment of your tale, you’ve strung them along and have them hanging on every word, then you have a grand finale.
- You’ll want believable dialogue, not hard to read cryptic verbiage. Dialogue as YOU would speak.
- A strong plot, not one that has been done a hundred times over, you want a uniqueness to your story.
We’ll work on all of these over the coming weeks, if you don’t mind.
Book Bites on Writing:The Right to Write – Julie Cameron