Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Tuesday Writing Tips - How to Hook the Reader for NaNoWriMo
Hi all, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is less than a week away and I'll be back. This year's project is "The Wolf's Torment." Here's a blurb:
Crown Prince Mihai Sigmaringen has a lot to look forward to. Recently returned from England, he's engaged to Lady Theresa von Kracken. He hopes to unite the Romanian principalities into a nation, but when his best friend, Viktor Bacau, is bitten by a werewolf, his dreams and his relationship with Theresa threaten to shatter into a thousand tiny pieces.
I'm very excited at the project and I'm doing my research and preliminary work now. What's the goal of NaNoWriMo? From the website: It is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30. That averages to approx 1650 words a day. Do-able write? *wink*
Last year I did NaNoWriMo for the first time. It was a challenge and with all my other "obstacles" work, home, mommy, wife, I slid in with 52K at the end of the month and had a great start to my novel "The Count's Lair" (which is coming out FEB 2011 with Desert Breeze Publishing)
If you want to check out my NaNoWriMo space, here's a link: http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/526402
I'm going to tie this into my next topic which is my Tuesday writing tip: how to hook the reader. It's not as easy as you think.
The beginning of the story must hook the reader or it doesn't do what it's supposed to do. The first sentence, paragraph, chapter has to grab a reader's attention. Some obvious turn offs include: spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Not so obvious: starting with description, back story, or a flashback.
The opening should have the lead character into the problem. Start with action, show the lead in motion, doing something.
Here's an example: Alice skulked after Edmund. What's the reader's next thought? Why. That encourages the reader to read more to find out.
Keep in mind: The opening should have an inciting incident and a story-worthy problem which should hold attention.
Reference: Hooked, by Les Edgerton, Writer's Digest books, 2007. If you want to follow my NaNoWriMo project, I'll be putting up my rough chapters on Writing.com. Here's the link: