Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tipsy Tuesday

You want your book to be something that readers can't put down. Here are some tips on how to make that happen:

1. Start with an important action. These days you don't have the luxury of building up to a conflict or other main event. Something must happen right away to hook the reader.

2. Develop conflict. If life's too easy for your characters, you won't hold the readers' attention.

3. Stay true to the genre. Romance readers want romance; mystery readers expect a good puzzle; adventure lovers expect fast-paced action. Hint at things to come, then deliver. Everything must be resolved by the end of your novel, including the few little asides you might have introduced along the way. The lost dog found its home; the red herring was explained away; the secondary character's role was revealed, etc.

4. Decide what point of view you're going to use, and stick with it.

5. Develop a main character your reader can identify with, worry about, and root for. Let the reader know who the good guys are--and the bad guys.

6. Let the reader know up front what's at stake. What's important to the main characters, and why? How will they suffer if they lose it?

7. Establish the setting. Show the reader where and when things are happening.

8. Set a brisk pace. However, to some extent, the genre will dictate that for you. Historical romances are more leisurely, filled with description and flowery language; mysteries must go faster.

10. Everything mentioned in your book must have a reason for being there. If it doesn't advance the story, it shouldn't be in your book. This goes back to "if you introduce a gun in chapter three, you had better use it before the end of the book".

Happy writing!

No comments: