Welcome to a new series of writing tips, discussion and general blatherings as I traverse the wonderful world of publishing.
I'm hoping to make this a weekly weekend series though in all likelihood, I can see it featuring fortnightly...or maybe longer, we'll see how we go!
(And if you miss out on a post, you can see the lot in the sidebar link and on my website.)
So, how do we make our readers care?
The idea for this series was sparked while I was watching Prison Break this week.
This series is the best yet, with the writers giving every character motivation for their actions, no matter how nefarious.
But what really struck home was when I choked up over a former bad guy dying.
How did the writers do that?
How did they make me care enough about a 'baddie' to feel sorrow when he died?
It all comes down to this.
If you give your characters sufficient, believable motivation for their actions, readers will be behind them all the way.
How many times are you reading a book or watching a movie and enjoying it, only to be jolted out of the suspended reality by the character doing something completely out of character?
It takes us out of the story.
It ruins our suspension of disbelief and makes us question everything about the remainder of the book/movie.
You don't want to do this to your readers.
You want them swept along in the story, so caught up in the characters' lives they absolutely must keep turning pages until they reach 'the end'...and leave them wanting more, particularly your next book!
A strong, real, believable motivation is gold.
That's my 'write whisper' for today.