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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fiction and Questions

I love the point in a book when it steps over the point of reality. Something happened that isn’t right. Our wonderful brains except this new reality because it is a story, its fiction, it isn’t real. Immediately upon the step from what our brain understands as reality, we know it isn’t real, we accept that fact, but our brains kick into overdrive asking questions. We read more carefully now looking for clues to figure out what just happened.

The questions are the true key to the intrigue. The writer should anticipate the questions the reader is going to have. You don’t necessarily have to answer the questions immediately. In most situations it is best to keep giving the reader clues so they may endeavor to figure it out on their own. Then obviously you want to answer the questions before the book ends and hopefully surprise the reader with the way it all works out or doesn’t work out. If it is a sequel you may leave a few things hanging with the anticipation that the sequel will answer those questions. I know some writers that end their books abruptly with a major cliffhanger and leave you dangling for months waiting for the next book to come out in the series.

So today’s tidbit of writing advice is to make the step from reality very polished, slightly plausible, or way off the reservation entirely. This is the magic point that sets the hook into your reader. Anticipate the questions they may ask in trying to figure out what is going on. Your story should build around the step from reality skirting the questions.

Most people will have to lay a book down at some point before they finish it. We want to create vivid, probing questions that mess with the readers mind while they are away from the book, so they can’t wait until they get back and read some more. This is part of the craft of writing.

They say show, don’t tell, and in what you show the reader, many times it is what you’re not showing them that is the most intriguing part of the read. Don’t make it lappy. Don’t dumb it up. Write for intelligent readers. Those who read are usually more intelligent and knowledgeable than most other people who don’t read anything. Let the reader figure it out, or surprise them because it wasn’t what they thought it was going to be. These are the aspects of the books we really enjoy. Oh, and don’t be predictable, it will ruin a loyal following.

May God Bless You and Keep writing. Mr. Sparks, we may get there someday.

I have the Website design and SEO class tonight.

I hope it is good and provides me with good stuff to blog about for all next week. If not I hear they are going to have meatballs!! Goody!

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