Recently, I wrote about the importance of hooking a reader with a great first line or paragraph in your story. The goal is to entice the reader to keep reading.
So after you’ve written a killer first sentence or paragraph, what comes next? How do you keep the reader engaged where they feel compelled to keep turning pages?
Fantasy author Michael Sullivan posted on this topic recently and rather than reinvent the wheel, I’ll point you to his post, “Writing Advice 17 – A Reason to Read.”
Sullivan focuses on several key areas to improve the quality of the storytelling that keeps a reader on the proverbial hook.
- Add layers of mystery to your story. Parallel or overlapping story questions keep the readers intrigued.
- Add or increase conflict, a key requirement. Stories are really about characters in conflict.
- Add or increase tension and suspense. Tension creates the emotion of anticipation where the reader expects something important to happen.
I highly recommend this quick refresher on the elements of story that will keep your readers engaged in your stories and eager for the next ones.
Has anyone discovered or used any other techniques to keep readers turning pages?