Today’s guest post is by Jeff Gerke, award-winning author, former book publisher, and writing instructor. I heard Jeff give a talk on this topic and was enthralled. Be prepared to learn something that will blow you away—the truth about reader engagement. His topic ties in wonderfully with what our editors have been examining all month—Fatal Flaw #7: Lack of Pacing and Tension. Jeff provides a whole other way of understanding why our fiction often lacks these crucial elements.
What makes a novel a best seller? What makes it something readers careen through, staying up until three in the morning to finish? What causes readers to tell all their friends they have to read a given novel?
Now, I would wish the answer to be “excellent fiction craftsmanship.” I would like to report that the secret to a novel’s success is the hard work and disciplined training of the writer. Converting telling to showing, keeping that point of view consistent, replacing all those flabby “to be” verbs and “–ly” adverbs with their fitter, punchier alternatives.
Yes, I would like to report that, but I can’t. Continue Reading…