Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Grabbing your reader

An important part of marketing your book is having a story your target audience will read. As some of you know, I offer editing services as a content editor in addition to my Career Coaching services [if you'd like to know more you may contact me through my website]. So today we're going to talk a bit about craft. Without craft, all the marketing in the world is pointless.

Yesterday, I showed the importance of that by showing you an awful scene in a suspense novel. If you were reading a suspense book would you be impressed with writing like that? Likely you wouldn't.

But each genre has its own tone. People suspend reality and WANT to be pulled in to your stories. They will give you SOME leeway, but not much. If you are writing a sci-fi your reader will expect detailed scientific information or a plot twist involving some kind of species. They will not read long if your book is full of flowery, literary prose.

If you're writing suspense, you need to keep the pace moving. Give the reader time to breath...but always with anticipation of the next danger. Think of a roller coaster. You are creaking up that hill slowly...but OH the anticipation of the plunge.

If you're writing a romance...keep the romantic tension high. Don't satisfy the reader too quickly or what reason do they have to continue the book?

The best way to do this is to read a few books in the genre you write for and feel the tone and pace inherent in each style.

I am a huge language person. I speak French and English fluently. I am fluent in American Sign language [which I taught myself when I was 10 years old] and I know some German and Braille. What I have learned is that each language has it's own flow and style. Idioms are based on the culture and a shared "inside joke". Learning a language is about more than vocabulary and grammar. It is about understanding the cultural basis...if you want to gain fluency.

The same is true in writing great books. The language of a Non-Fiction Christian living book is very different from the language used in writing a horror novel.

While blending genres [like Ted Dekker did in the Red/Black/White Trilogy] is fun. You still must know what primary genre you're writing in, and be true to that readership.

So spend time developing your unique authors voice. Get a feel for the "culture" of your readership. It will help you develop a book that is more marketable-and enjoyable to read.

I've got to go, I have reading to do.

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter

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