Without Sequels Your Reader Won’t Care

You’ve got a fantastic idea for a book of fiction. A great conflict drives the story and you write action scene after action scene in a burst of creativity. But without sequels your reader won’t care. No, not the sequel to the book. The sequels to your scenes. Sequel is one of the most important parts of your story. What Is a Scene’s Sequel  Most authors of how-to-write books use the term scene and define that term in the same way. For the sequel, different authors label it differently, but the functions remain the same. Dwight V. Swain calls this unit of storytelling a sequel and describes as “a unit of transition between two scenes.” James Scott Bell calls it reaction and Robert McKee calls it the “emotional transition.” Merriam Webster defines sequel as “consequence, results.” Think of it this way: your protagonist fought a battle (real or figurative) with the antagonist. Win or lose, both your character and your reader need a moment of recovery. That moment of recovery, the sequel reveals how your protagonist reacts to this win or lose. It can be a few sentences or paragraphs or pages. There are three parts to a sequel: Reaction, […]

Are You a Thinking Reader?

I’ve been thinking about reading fiction a lot lately. Particularly about how we read fiction today. Not so much as how it relates to the fiction I write, though of course I think about that, too. We have more reading opportunities today than ever before. How has that fact affected your reading habits? Are you a thinking reader?  A Thinking Reader There is a book called, How to Read a Book: The Ultimate Guide by Mortimer Adler. Originally published in 1940, it identifies and explains ways people read. It also instructs how one should read the different genres from nonfiction to imaginative fiction. I’m not asking are you a thinking reader and expecting a reply any of the academic ways to describe reading. More accurately, I’m asking what do you think about when you are reading a story. Are you thinking or are you more viscerally or emotionally bound to the story?  How I Read When a story is engaging and well written with a compelling plot, I immerse myself in the story and read fast and straight through. I’m “feeling” the story without pausing to think. After I finish reading, I think about the story and the writing. If […]

Thank You, Dear Readers

In the United States, yesterday was Thanksgiving Day. A day of feasting and football and parades and giving thanks. And after a week of cleaning and cooking, it is a day when I collapse into an exhausted heap. But I had to rouse myself enough to say thank you.  I’m grateful to you, my readers, for your support. A write works alone at her craft for hours and hours. It’s a solitude that I (as an introverted introvert) enjoy. But, I write my stories for people to read so your comments, your likes, your stars, and your reviews mean a lot to me, to writers like me. And I act a little like this… Okay, some days I act a lot like that. But honestly, I value every one of you and every response you make. Thank you. Lest you think I’m only grateful for writerly things, here are a few posts from the past:  20 Weird Things I’m Grateful For Thankful for What We Cannot See Connections: Nature Beauty Gratitude Remember and Be Grateful And here are some of my favorite “gratitude” lines from books I’ve read. Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could […]