When I was enjoying my daily perambulations one day last week, I caught the attention of some of my neighbours. These particular neighbours tend to be interested in whatever is going on in our garden and they meandered over to see what I was up to. I had a brief chat with them then scooted off to fetch my camera, thereby learning an important writing lesson.
Having captured our readers’ attention, it is tremendously important to hold it for long enough that they will want to hang on in and see what happens.
I had not done that with my neighbours and when I returned with my camera, they had lost interest and wandered off to seek diversion elsewhere.
So, when they returned the next day, I was prepared. I had my camera at the ready, having not only caught their attention but having also found a way to hold their interest.
It really is that important.
Writers know that you, the reader, have to be persuaded to read our book, so we try to come up with that captivating first sentence, that intriguing first paragraph, that riveting first chapter, but it can’t end there.
As soon as we get boring, you get bored.
It’s as simple as that.
So every chapter has to hold your attention. Ideally, we want you not to be able to put our book down until you’ve finished reading the whole thing, staying up all night if that’s what it takes. Sorry, I know that’s pretty mean of us to cause you to lose your beauty sleep, but just think of the rewards. You can have our story buzzing about in your head for days afterwards. You might well feel you’ve made some great new friends of our characters.
My granddaughters made friends with my neighbours. They even got to know them better than I do, exchanging names and contact details. Daisy is just off to the left there, and she likes to be whistled over. Primrose prefers a soft mooing sound.
Another lesson learned. It is important to connect with you, dear reader. I want to know who you are, what you like about my writing, what interests you, where I can find you, how I can reach you.
So why don’t you pop your head over the hedge and chat to me – or simply add a comment in the comment box below. I love when you do.