Finishing a fiction book is a massive undertaking that will give you rights to pat yourself in the back incessantly. Congratulations, you’ve just finished the first half of the journey.
The success of fiction books depends on the impact you make on the readers as well; the pace they’re reading the book at and how eager they are to read until the end. Writing fiction books takes all the elements that transcend through its readers. Well, aren’t we all writing for the readers in the first place?
Page-turner fiction books are hard to find; only a few are a cut above the rest. If you’re looking to create that gusto from every page, here are five fiction writing techniques that will surely keep your readers turning pages.
1. Keep readers engaged through character backstories.
Once you introduce your characters in the first few pages, the readers must be able to relate and hang onto each character like they’ve known the character all their life. That’s why you need to establish a complete backstory of each character. Some elements in a backstory are:
• Where the characters are from
• Socioeconomic status
• Traumatic experiences
Backstory building is essential in writing fiction as it affects how the characters will act or turn out in the long run. And if your readers know your characters very well and feel a sense of affinity to them, they will most likely read throughout to find out what happens in the end.
Harry Potter fiction books are all the rage until today. Harry’s backstory is a perfect example of “hooking” readers from the first pages until the last. For instance, Harry had a daunting childhood. Lord Voldemort killed Harry’s parents while he survived. As Harry got older, he continued to battle with his loathed nemesis.
Plots like this will enable readers to side with the protagonists too because they felt a sense of compassion and empathy for the characters in the beginning.
2. Frustrate readers through failed mission attempts.
Once you’ve established your characters’ backstory, you can hook the readers more by developing each character’s mission. A mission established at the beginning of young adult fiction books will leave readers asking: What will he do to accomplish the mission? How will he do it? Will it affect the other characters? How far will he go to achieve the mission?
You can structure this strategy in three steps:
• Develop the character’s goal or mission
• Demonstrate the character’s attempt to accomplish the task
• Impede the attempts
This way, every time the reader roots for the protagonist’s achievement, the reader gets frustrated and finds out what happens. Then you can introduce another thwarted attempt until the reader keeps turning those pages to finally get to the part where the character accomplishes a goal.
3. Include cliffhangers, uncertainties, unusual twists, and surprising reveals.
Either keep the readers guessing or dumbfounded. You can do this in several ways. Adding lines at the end of the page that creates uncertainties for readers will make them want to breeze through the next page. These lines are called cliffhangers or scene hangers.
You may also entice them by creating unusual twists or stunning reveals that will leave readers either in consternation or elation. This way, you know they’ll keep wanting more.
4. Elevate the pace through varying sentence lengths.
You can control the story pace through sentence lengths and word choices. Shorter sentences may speed up a section of the book or page, while longer sentences will slow it down. Of course, you don’t have to use short sentences throughout. A good balance of the right pacing will keep readers engaged.
The more you add those bells and whistles to a scene or object, the slower it is for readers. Maybe this will work in a nonfiction romantic book, but perhaps not in a fiction book. Fiction requires action from time to time.
Throw in quick, simple words and short sentences to jive with your readers’ heartbeats.
5. Set a time limit.
Letting the readers know that the time is running is a great way to keep them riveted. Include a countdown, a ticking clock, or days on the calendar. This may work for goals or conditions.
Cinderella is the best example. Letting a poor girl enjoy a magical, luxurious moment at the stroke of midnight can get into a reader’s veins.
Gianne Barentsen is a passionate blogger who loves to write about travel, books, personality development, lifestyle, productivity, and more. She spends her spare time hiking, camping and reading adventure, fantasy, mystery stories, and young adult fiction books.
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