For as long as I can remember, I’ve been writing stories. That’s what all of us who are authors say, right? When I was in grade school, one of my teachers told my mother I had a flair for writing. Some similar comment from someone is what most of us reveal from our pasts, too. In my case, writing was, you could say the family business. It’s how my father paid the bills when I was growing up. Authors, albeit not of the worldly famous variety, but those who made their living writing books, would come to my house for dinner.
When I finished college, I used my writing skills in a career as a public relations specialist, magazine editor and script writer. All of which doesn’t make me an expert by any stretch. I’m constantly seeking, looking, trying, and sampling everything I can get my hands on about writing. Even at my ripe old age, I never tire of learning.
Something I did this Summer at RWA2017, The Annual Romance Writers of America® Conference in Orlando.
One session titled KEEPING YOUR READERS UP ALL NIGHT, was presented by multi-published New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Joan Johnston.
Besides being a very entertaining speaker, she provided some very usable information on how to hook readers in each and every chapter.
Ask a question that must be answered
Anticipate a confrontation
Start with riveting action or compelling behavior
Predict what will happen when a secret is revealed
Set up a competition or bargain
Suggest disaster, unless…
Set a deadline or ultimatum
To craft that very first paragraph, and she suggests you.
Present a physical and/or physiological response
Utilize all five senses
Set the time, place and conditions
Use precise word choice
Have metaphors appropriate to the story
Keep sentences simple
Show don’t tell
Employ fitting dialogue tags
In my special 99 cent release, FOR MONEY OR LOVE, I can only hope I achieved and implemented some of what she suggested.
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