Let’s Talk About the Reader

Photo Source:     Every writer is a reader and every reader is a writer. Really. Not every writer writes stories or poems or magazine articles. Some write technical papers, reviews, emails, grocery lists, Facebook entries. Any kind of writing makes you a writer. A reader, though, is special.   A reader is the only […]

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Killing Characters

I remember the first time I killed a character. I cried for a day and then resurrected him. I’ve since gotten better at killing them. One of my writer friends once said “I kill people for a living”. I don’t know if she was quoting someone else, but her words stuck with me. She meant […]

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Chase Scenes: the Mental Element

Oddly, there is very little out on the internet under “writing chase scenes” and “mental” or “emotional”. So I had to figure all this out the hard way… studying lots and lots of chase scenes. Hopefully this series of posts will make things a little easier for future learners.     The mental world is […]

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Chase Scenes: the Reader Element

The chase scene should be written (or revised) with the reader in mind. Like with any other type of scene, the reader interacts with the character or characters but the reader is not the character. Just because the character experiences the chase scene in a certain way does not necessarily mean the reader will have […]

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Need for Enthusiasm in Writing

Whether you are writing for yourself or for an audience, I think one key to success is to write what you want to read. This means having enthusiasm, passion, and curiosity. When one of these feelings wanes, you can dig deep for another and stoke the fires. If you want to read your WIP, you […]

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Raise Reader Tension: The Unknown

Introduce the Unknown and you will have the reader on edge — an immediate increase in reader tension. You can do this at any point. I think Middles are particularly well-suited for doing this since Beginings are for set-up, Endings are for wrap-ups, but Middles are for complications. And what is more intriguing and unsettling  […]

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Raise Reader Tension: Main Characters

How can you increase reader tension? I mentioned that it isn’t the character that has to feel the tension but the reader. One way to achieve this is through tweaks to your main characters. Remember that surprise is key to reader tension. One reason readers become complacent is that over time, they learn to predict […]

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Raise Reader Tension: Surprise

Does your story drag when you reread it, despite a well-conceived plot? You may be having trouble with dramatic tension. A feeling of tension in the reader is vital to building suspense because it keeps the reader from feeling complacent. Reader complacency is the enemy to tension. A reader can still feel complacent — and […]

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Boost Your Creativity: Study Your Readers

Readers are a finicky bunch. They pick up your book with certain expectations in mind. They want their expectations to be met, but they also want to be surprised. To keep them turning the page, you need to know how your readers think. Reader expectations are partly drawn from genre and category. Genre expectations can […]

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