Backstory can get a bad rap, as Janice Hardy says on her blog, The Other Side of the Story. Backstory is a critical element of your story, you just have to know how to use it. Read her post, “Baby Got Backstory: Dealing with Backstory in Your Novel,” to get the scoop.
Do you want to write a page turner? Then make your writing exciting at the sentence level. KidLit.com blogger and agent Mary Kole shows you how.
I’m always in awe of anyone who can work full-time, raise children, have non-writing interests, AND complete a manuscript. Everyone has their own way of fitting writing in their life. In, How to Write a Book When You’re Really, Really Busy, Writer’s Digest editor Chuck Sambuchino tells how he wrote his most recent novel while, among other things, working full-time, going to school at UCLA, and training for a 50-kilometer footrace.
Why are some books so riveting, while others are just okay? What qualities of a story make you want to stay up all night reading even when you know the dreaded alarm will be going off at o’dark thirty?
If your goal is to write a page turner (and whose isn’t?), test your memoir, short story, or novel against these criteria to see how close you’ve come.
1. Create characters readers will care about. Grab your readers’ attention with fully developed characters. If readers are attached to the characters, empathize, or even hate a character, they’ll want to know what happens next.
2. Make sure that something important is at stake. What does your protagonist stand to lose or gain?
3. Start chapters with a sense of drama, mystery, or trouble. Create curiosity. It helps to start with your manuscript’s first line.
In “After the Game,” from Selected Stories, author Andre Dubus begins: “I wasn’t in the clubhouse when Joaquin Quintana went crazy.” Read more