How do you start selling the drama of your story to your reader?
How do you get your point across and really make the reader feel it?
How do you build scenes that are so suspenseful that they keep the reader reading well past bed time?
Great questions and here are some answers.
One way you can elicit certain feelings within your reader is through the structure of the story.
Three’s A Crowd. The Drama…The Triangle
Remember that Garden of Eden thing? It would have been pretty uneventful had it just been Adam and Eve. In fact the story wouldn’t even have been written. Yawn…
But, introduce a third character, like a snake, and things get a little more interesting. don’t they?
Two characters can usually get along together. Only when you add a third do they start talking behind each other’s backs.
Is That A Mask Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?
Now, let’s say that one of those characters isn’t quite the person they appear to be.
Let’s take Adam and Eve again.
One of the ways to create drama is to portray internal conflict in your characters.
To all the world they look perfectly happy, two lovers in paradise.
However, only when we find that Adam and Eve are struggling to suppress thoughts of Adam and Steve do things become more interesting.
Again, three’s a crowd…and the start of selling the drama to your reader.
The Devil Is In The Details
And so is the drama.
Have you ever noticed the difference between a paint by numbers painting and one by a real artist?
What is it?
Well, it’s the same difference between a piece of good writing and a piece of poor writing…detail.
New writers tend to gloss over description or use generic and unexpressive words to portray the scene. But, the reader wants to see, feel and be in the scene. That is why they are reading.
One great way to develop realistic detail is to do some pre writing. Take a sheet of paper and break things down.
- What emotions do you want to portray in the scene?
- What types of body language portrays those emotions?
- What type of thoughts do people have when they have those emotions?
Think about what you want your novel, chapter, scene, paragraph and sentence to portray. Think about the best way to do it. And then, think about it again and again and again.
The more and more detail you add is when you really start selling the drama.
Stay Tuned Until Next Time
Always keep your readers asking this question. It will go a long way to creating suspense and drama.
Just as there is no one way to create and sell the drama to your reader there will be no one answer for any of the questions you have.
Just as creating drama is a combination of things. But, keep reading.