Yesterday I wrote a blog about the hook. What brings your reader into your story?
Today, let’s discuss what keeps your reader engaged.
Regarding the hook, you might have noticed that we talk about internal conflict; the same is true throughout your novel.
Last night we talked about an insecure girl. Her body was growing as it was intended, but her fear kept her from doing what? Living. While many of her friends were wearing sweaters, makeup, and probably rolling the waistbands up on their skirts, our MC is afraid.
This is a classic coming of age story which line the shelves of so many book stores. Why do you think young girls read these stories?
Exactly, they want to know how Sally or Jane overcame their anxiety and what they did to get the boy with the wavy brown hair to look at them. Reading a book about forbidden love or young love is just you and the tactile feel of the pages as they slip through your fingers.
You older readers/writers, do you remember that fear, that anxiety you felt when you decided to sneak your makeup out of your room so you could apply it on the bus or perhaps in the bathroom with a dozen other girls?
For you guys reading this, Daddy’s don’t want their little girls to grow up too fast. I cannot begin to tell you how many times the phrase ‘that stuff is for whores’ was bandied about. It is about protecting your child and some immaturity on the part of the Dad.
The odds are good. Dad remembered what he was like in school.
Fear is part of the story that makes us relate to your character. They have a desire. What is that desire? What must they do to obtain their goal or fulfill their desire?
The internal conflict of buying the sweater and putting it on, fixing her face and hair, is where our protagonist from the hook, must go.
Trust me, grasshopper, I could write an 80K novel just out of that process in about four weeks, and it would sell. Why? Why would it sell?
Fear is the one thing that we all can relate to; it is the common denominator. If you say no, you are lying. Something scares you.
Part of growing up is embracing the fear and doing it anyway. Now when I say this, I am not talking about something stupid. I will give you some examples from my youth to the current day.
- The roller coaster. Yes, I was deathly afraid of them; heights bother me.
- Speaking in public.
- Singing to an audience
- Reading out loud
- Publishing my first book.
- Flying an airplane
- Riding a horse
I could go on, but you get it. These are all things that could be part of your plot, theme, or character arc.
I hope you got something out of this. I look forward to hearing from you as you write your project. Remember that NaNoWriMo is just around the corner. 50k words are nothing. Embrace the fear and go forth!
Much Love -TW