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Friday, April 22, 2011

What Makes a Good Page Turner?

Now that I am writing, it's funny how much I'm thinking about being a reader as well.  I often wonder what it is that I like to read. What keeps me turning pages?  That is of course the goal as an author is to keep your reader's interest throughout your story.

Well for me that has, and I imagine always will be, action and emotional scenes.  Once I'm emotionally invested in a story, all an author has to do is keep me moving through the background knowledge quickly enough so that I can get to the next action/emotional scene.  As a reader, my favorite thing is to let my imagination go and find myself sitting next to the characters in those scene.

I discovered an interesting thing the other day while I was writing.  The parts of my book that I write with ease are the action and emotional scenes (like 1,300 words in an hour) and I struggle with the background and "storytelling" aspects (like 500 words in an evening).  The funny thing is that I have my whole story outlined.  My characters and plot all have a history that I know, so it's not for lack of knowledge.  It's almost like I get bored the same way I do when I read.  All I want is to do is to get back to the next action/emotional scene.

I'm not really sure how to overcome this other than to just push through and keep those parts of my story as concise as possible.  If I'm bored as the author writing those parts, then I can only assume that my readers will be bored as well. 

There is a catch 22 though.  There is information that my readers need to know that can't always be part of a more exciting scene.  I have found that my main character's inner monologue has been the device I've used most often. Personally, I find her intriguing and by getting in to her head I hope to give my readers a reason to keep going.  I don't was them to get too bogged down by what I find to be boring, but necessary, to write.  I hope they will keep turning pages to find that next exciting scene.

Write well!


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