Make your readers feel your story.
Emotions are what fuel page turners.
We underestimate the value of emotions in our work as writers. We want to create the best inciting incident, craft the niftiest characters and world build until we’re no longer on Earth. But, we don’t realize the root of our need to create.
As artists, because that’s what we are (writers are a small population of artists), we are creative because we are sensitive. There is strength in our sensitivity which combusts with emotions leading to explosive pieces of content.
Readers aren’t reading because they want to “know,” unless they’re going to a piece that’s informed. More than likely, if they are picking up a book of poetry or a fiction novel then they are reading to feel. The best thing you can do for any of your readers is to give them something that will make them cry, get angry, or laugh. It has been scientifically proven that when we emotionally connect with information that we’re taking in then we’re more likely to remember it. Don’t you want your story to be memorable?
If so, then you should stop writing novels that don’t have adventure because life has many twists and turns. And, start to write stories that are filled with thrill, things to laugh at, or even something to cry over.
Make your reader realize you are the best manipulator of story, your words have intent, they have power, they trigger reactions.
As I’ve been studying Stephen King’s, The Shining, one of the things that caught my attention was the fact that he plays with the vices of a child, Danny. Danny is the son of Jack and Wendy Torrance. He’s imaginative, aware, and highly acute intellectually. By creating such a sophisticated character and then throwing him on the back drop of a haunted hotel in you’re constantly wanting to know more. More than that, you’re curious about how he’s going to emotionally process all of his experiences. It builds on your empathy for the child and you’re yearning to see him survive.
All of those factors play a key role as to why you keep turning the page and you’re in for the adventure. Always remember, children in stories have a greater sense of adventure to them that adults are limited to have. It through the innocence of a child that we can speculate the existence of monsters, ghosts, and aliens. Without their imaginative minds then we can’t seem to care so much The Shining, a title that is given due to Danny’s exceptional spiritual world.
All of those finer details have more importance than the overall plot. The plot is simple: move in a broke family to live in a haunted hotel as a job and then haunt them. But, everything in the middle is what makes it juicy and emotive. Thus, realize every chicken noodle soup has the same basic ingredients: chicken, broth, and noodles. What makes us want a specific person’s chicken noodle soup is whether or they used a certain collection of seasonings to enhance your tastebuds.
As a writer, this very same principle applies to your work. You have to ask yourself, did you make a simple plot and then fill it in with chilling details, so chilling that your reader has no choice except to keep turning the page? If not, then you, my friend, have some work to do.