Novel Writing Tips - Keep Your Reader Interested

Here are some novel writing tips to help make your fiction interesting.

1) Create a vivid main character.

Create a main character who feels real and help your reader get to know him. Our character profiling questionnaires are a useful tool for developing three-dimensional characters.

You can show what kind of people your characters are through their words and actions and their ways of responding to the world. Showing your characters in this way is more powerful than just describing them.

If readers feel as if they know your main character, they'll care what happens to him.

2) Give your main character something to win or lose.

Give your character a goal in the story, something she badly wants (or badly wants to avoid).

This goal can be something small or something big -- your character might want a new bicycle, or she might want to save the world from zombies -- as long as it matters greatly to your character.

If readers care about your character, they'll care about what matters to her.

3) Give your character an active role.

Your story will be more interesting if your character is doing things, not just watching things happen or thinking about them.

For example, let's say your character has been left by his girlfriend. If you just show him walking in the rain thinking about his loss, that probably isn't going to be a very engaging story.

Instead, give your character something to do. Depending on the character and the situation, he might:
- try to get his girlfriend back
- try to get a new girlfriend
- seek revenge
- behave in a self-destructive way that puts him in danger

If you have a passive main character who tends to stand around being thoughtful instead of taking action, then put the pressure on him or her to do something. Put that character in a situation where he or she will have no choice except to act.

For example, let's say the character who lost his girlfriend doesn't want to do anything except walk in the rain and be sad. On one of his walks, he might run into his girlfriend or the man who stole her from him. He might run into another woman who has been obsessed with him for years and who decides that, tonight, she won't take no for an answer...

Join our online course Irresistible Fiction and learn how to turn your stories into page-turners.

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