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Friday, September 25, 2009

Writing a Page Turner

It would be great if I could give you a magical formula or link that would map it all out, but with most things in writing, it isn't that easy. There are a few tips and tricks I've learned that help make it less of a mystery though.

The first thing you have to achieve is identifying your audience. A page turner is different for everyone. Some people enjoy Shakespeare while others like Stephen King. Know who your writing for. There are as many audiences as there are books, young adults, children, men, women, thrill seekers, fright seekers, adventure lovers, the list goes on and on.

After identifying your audience you must get to know them. How in the world are you supposed to do that? Look at what's on the shelf in your genre, that will give you a good idea of what's hot which gives you a good idea of what people like. Don't forget to read the books that are hot. Now you're starting to get to know them!

Now comes the hard part, your actual writing. Writing a page turner is all about pace and keeping the readers interest. You don't have to have action scene after action scene to achieve this. In fact that could be overkill. Meaningful dialogue can speed up a slow page or chapter. Leaving out anything that doesn't achieve anything for the story is another way. Cut out all excessive adjectives, adverbs and unnecessary words such as 'that', 'so', or 'suddenly'.

Put all this together and you're on your way to writing that page turner!

2 comments:

  1. I was thinking about just that today: what makes a page turner and you’re right, it varies with the genre. I love romance and not every scene is jam packed with action, it's all about the relationship of the characters and how it evolves. Although it's not go, go, go every minute I flip the pages anyhow because what's handed to me is the norm for my genre and that's why I like it, it‘s paced just right. I AM the audience for the genre I write and I feel that's what makes a good writer = a reader. To know how to write a page turner you need to know what that means for your genre.
    Thanks for sharing this Heather!
    ... Also, I love the new header for your blog!!

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  2. I love that, 'what makes a good writer, a reader'. That is absolutely true! We should never forget that as writers. I'm glad you like the new header, thanks!

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