Kathleen gave an informative interactive speech during our last meeting---well, I use the term "speech" loosely. We had a fun group discussion. A bunch o' friends having lunch and discussing our favorite topic: writing.
She started by asking us what drew us to buy a particular book. Answers were typical: a trusted author, the cover, the one-liner across the front of the cover, the back cover copy, the first page.
All these aspects of the book, plus a great opening, characters worth staying for, and the plot, present a contract between the author and the readers. The author is promising to make the experience worth the reader's time.
Kathleen mentioned developing a checklist for creating anticipation:
- questions a reader truly wants the answers to,
- dark secrets
- well-crafted, multi-dimensional villians
- flawed protagonists
- conflict so intense, the reader doubts the chances of a good resolution
- characters so different, the reader finds it unlikely they'll fit together
Readers, she said, want to work for the pay-off. They want to follow the problem-solving trail. Our job is to provide an interesting trail for them to follow.
The group discussion was fun and as informative as the speech itself. If you missed it, you missed a good one.
Don't forget our conference in October! It will replace our usual October meeting, so alter your calendar as needed: cancel the meeting on October 15 and pencil in the conference on October 8.
We will be taking entry fees at the door ($25 for WOTS members, $35 for nonmembers), but if you have the remotest possibility of coming, please let us know in advance. We'll be serving breakfast and lunch, so we need a headcount.
If you want to enroll with PayPal, use the link in the sidebar on the right. Make sure you get the Conference link and not the WOTS membership link---unless you want to pay for membership too!
Looking forward to seeing everyone in October!