Thursday, February 9, 2023

Reader Investment

author Alexia Chantel standing with an armful of books that reaches past her nose and her Siberian husky stretched out sleeping at her feet

What makes readers invested in a story? I’ve seen writers stress over this question. With good reason, because it is important. But I also don’t believe it needs to be over complicated.

First: acknowledge that you will never ever get every reader to become invested in your story. 

Are we good? You’ve all acknowledged that perfection in storytelling is pure, unadulterated fiction? Great. Let’s move on!

Second: you read, right? Think about the books that sucked you in right away, the ones that you couldn’t stop thinking about after you hit The End, the characters that you possibly consider friends. 

Some books carry a certain magic. And no, I’m not talking strictly fantasy reads. I’m referring to the magic that invests your heart and/or mind in the story. And like any magic, or cake, once you understand the components you can make your own.

Ingredients to Hook a Reader:

  • an Irresistible Plot. Think of the kinds of cat-nip tropes that appeal to the greater population, like enemies to lovers or heists!
  • an Intriguing Character. If you love them, or love to hate them, then it’l likely that your readers will to. Don’t write wishy-washy characters!
  • an Unforgettable Location. That spooky house on the hill, the abandoned space station, or the cottage in the woods—you’ve read about them and fallen in love with them…now write one!
  • a Compelling Problem. What seemingly insurmountable issue is at the heart of your book? Who can put down a well-written mystery or thriller? Who can resist reading about a dominating, immovable force being taken down? Not me! 

Magic needs a reason to show up, and if you start with the right components your chances go up. For me, that list contains the main ingredients. For different flavors, there are countless combinations you can try. And for that sparkling incredible success, you’ll need a healthy dash of luck.

May your writing be irresistible this week!

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