|So many books - so little time!|
I recently spoke on a panel at the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference where we discussed elements of a page-turner, and not necessarily just thrillers or suspense, but what keeps a reader turning the page and engaged in a story. We all agreed that with so many choices these days, it’s important to grab the reader and keep her reading through to the very end.
So let’s say you’re interest has been piqued by a great cover and you move onto the intriguing description. What’s next?
Our job as authors is to draw in the reader as quickly as possible. What are some thing things we use to do this? Let’s see, conflict, sympathetic characters, emotionally charged situations and great dialogue are a few things that make a compelling read.
|The Wife Project opens with dialogue.|
Another important element of a compelling book is conflict. Conflict is like the fuel that keeps your car running. Good conflict can even grow and change throughout the course of the book, which really keeps things interesting. But yes, in every scene there needs to be some kind of conflict or something at stake, to keep the reader engaged.
Then there’s fresh dialogue. There’s nothing like a page or two of dialogue to really speed up a story. Good dialogue needs few dialogue tags (said, uttered, asked) because the characters are so real you know who’s talking without the tags. This is a true gift and it really keeps the reader engaged.
These are few of my personal favorites. How do you choose your books and what keeps you reading? Can you think of good examples of books with exceptional conflict or dialogue? I’d like to add them to my reading list.