Showing posts with label interest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label interest. Show all posts

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Do You Use Readers?



            It used to be that an author created and wrote his story and then sent it to his editor, after which he did his rewrites and published his book. But there is one tool I use to help give me input about my story. This tool is my readers. They have become an important part of my editing and rewriting process.

            More and more authors are turning to readers to give their thoughts and opinions on the authors’ stories. This is a good idea since most people who buy and read books are ordinary everyday people and are not writers or editors.

            Editors are looking at the structure of your plot, character development, and yes, grammar and spelling among other things. But readers are looking at it for its intrest and appeal. To use both readers and an editor gives you a more rounded viewpoint of your story.

            Readers give you a perspective from a different angle. Now don’t go firing your editor. On the contrary. I prefer to get my readers’ input before I send my book to my editor. Readers view your story from a reader’s viewpoint where your editor look at your story from a writer’s viewpoint, and it is my opinion that a writer needs both.

            I do ask my readers to look for spelling/grammar errors and typos. They do a grand job of finding them, too. But I also like to get their opinion on specific parts/chapters of my story. Because they are not as picky as editors are, they can really give you a fresh and honest opinion. Once you get your readers input, then you can concentrate on the things your editor finds.

            How many readers should you have? As many as you want but definitely more than one. The difference in opinion from one reader to another can create a dilemma. A third reader’s opinion can give you the solution to that dilemma.

            So do you have a reader/s? If not, you’re missing out on a more well-rounded editing information.

Faye M. Tollison
Author of:  To Tell the Truth
Upcoming books:  The Bible Murders
                               Sarah’s Secret
Member of:  Sisters in Crime
                     Writers on the Move
www.fmtoll.wordpress.com


            

Monday, March 26, 2012

In the Beginning

The beginning of your story, whether it is a short story or a novel, is the most important part of your book. It is where you hook your reader, and hooking your reader is a definite must. Many a book has been laid down only to never be picked up again because the reader found the first page or two to be boring.

You can have the best character ever created, but you need to get that character into some type of action that will grab and hold onto the reader's attention. He/she needs to be hungry for more and more of your story. So you need to choose an opening action that can be built upon. According to Chris Roerden in Don't Murder Your Mystery, "Caring about the main character is the ultimate hook." This is so true because you can build upon this in so many ways.

The reader needs to identify with the character's feelings, and there must be contradictions of some type. It is good to introduce the main character as quickly as you can into the story. The reader should wonder about who, what, when, where, how, and why. Curiosity will keep them reading. As the author, it is your duty to keep their curiosity going throughout the whole book until the end where you will satisfy and answer all their questions about the story and the main character.

Even though it may be necessary to include backstory and description, these can be added later in the story and must be kept to only what is needed to satisfy your reader's curiosity. Backstory can be worked into the action, adding more interest and adding fuel to the reader's interest. Adverbs and adjectives must be minimized also.

So what is the best hook? One that can be built upon? The main character, of course, and the problems with which he/she will be faced. Remember, the job of a hook is to stretch the reader's interest beyond the first sentence; and if the author does it right, the reader's interest will go well beyond the first chapter.

Which of the following would grab your interest?

It was a dark and stormy night.

Or?

Maggie's hands gripped the gun as she looked down the barrel at the fear in the eyes of the man who raped her.

Faye M. Tollison
Author of To Tell the Truth
Upcoming books: The Bible Murders and Sarah's Secret
www.fayemtollison.com
www.fmtoll.wordpress.com
www.fayetollison.blogspot.com
Member of: Sisters In Crime
                   Writers on the Move

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