Dear Fellow Writer,
In case you missed it, you have one last chance to participate in my new video lecture course - The Easy Way to Write Short Stories That Sell - at the introductory price.
The special discount ends on the 31st August!
Don’t forget, as well as the video lectures, you also get four downloadable courses on character development, plotting, The Art of Story and The Hero’s Journey in Fiction.
Plus you get access to my personal mentoring for as long as you’re on the course.
Writing - QED
Writing good fiction is about maintaining forward thrust.
It's your job to propel the reader through your story without having them feel they are wading through your writing.
In fact, your ultimate aim is somehow make the reader feel they're not actually reading at all.
It's what I call transparency - the idea that there is nothing between your reader's mind and your story - nothing as ugly as the text getting in the way!
Q.E.D. is a little acronym you might want to use to help you remember that you need to create compelling fiction on every page of your stories.
Q.E.D. stands for:
Questions encourage people to look for answers.
When readers read fiction they are asking themselves a series of questions about your characters and about your story.
Only when you satisfy your reader by feeding questions and later-on providing answers will the reader feel entertained.
At the beginning of each new page, ask yourself, What question am I going to place in the reader's mind?
You must have one – because it’s what will make the reader keep reading.
Without constantly stoking curiosity, a reader will simply get bored and not read on.
Empathy is crucial too. Not only is it important that you create empathy for your characters early on, you also need to keep reinforcing it as you go along.
Hopefully the actions that your characters make will take care of some of this.
But you should be aware that if you feel your characters slipping away from you, it’s probably because you’re not keeping them human enough to be compelling.
A reader’s total empathy with a character can be powerful.
The ability to maintain character empathy is the hallmark of all good fiction writers.
To create a hero that is credible and popular is the goal of most leading authors.
Because once you’ve done that, you can take your readers almost anywhere with them.
When it’s done well, the reader is totally in your thrall and will trust you to take them further, on the adventure that is your novel, or series of novels.
Use empathy-construction consciously. (See the above course for more instruction on creating empathy.)
Readers rarely spot that you’re doing it deliberately.
They only know what they like and that is, for the time they are reading, they like being your lead character.
Lastly, D is for Drama.
It’s important that you create drama, conflict, and tension at least once on every page.
It’s the way of modern fiction.
People want to be entertained.
But they’ve seen it all before: on TV and at the movies.
Always try to think of new ways of being dramatic.
Stay focused on character.
Don't get bogged down with description.
You don’t need long explanations or descriptions of things your reader is probably already familiar with.
It’s just not necessary.
Modern readers like to be thrown into the thick of things immediately.
There are a hundred ways to do that but most of them involve action, conflict, and drama.
If you find yourself wandering from the point and nothing in particular is happening, cut back to where the last piece of conflict was, delete all the verbiage and static writing and move off again – this time at high speed!
Perhaps imagine you’re a soap opera writer where every scene counts, and every exchange is emotionally charged.
Try not to sink into melodrama – but be aware that you’re writing primarily to entertain.
At the beginning and ending of every new page ask yourself:
Q.E.D? Have I fulfilled the three requirements of compelling fiction?
If the answer is yes then you’re probably well on your way to becoming a bestselling author!
Your Success Is My Concern