Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Making your reader care

You want readers to react to what you write. If they are not engaged, they will not read on so that means triggering some kind of emotional response.

It has become a big part of my teaching. So how do you do it? Here are some thoughts:
1 Identify the emotions in your story. What do you want your readers to feel?

2 Think about a time when you experienced the emotion yourself. How did you feel? You may have never been through exactly what your character is experiencing but you are likely to have experienced something similar.

3 Think about the type of person your character is and what he or she would do in certain situations.

4 Give the reader enough information. What is your character’s body language, what expression is on his/her face? How does his/her voice sound? What is he/she feeling?

5 Describe the setting. Make sure your reader can see where the action is happening. Maybe use the setting, dark streets, rainy nights etc, to shape your character’s mood.

Get those things right and your reader will stick with you.

John Dean

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