Help Your Reader Connect!

500-words_TestI just read through and edited my novel for God knows the number of times, I’ve lost count. That’s a problem in itself. I should be more efficient and effective with my time, but I’ll save that issue for another blog.

While my work is grammatically and structurally sound, the scenes flow, and there are no obvious plot holes, something’s missing, and I need to figure out what it is.

I followed all the rules, but it takes more than rules to pump up that novel and make it interesting enough for someone to want to purchase. You need to cover all of the basis, not just the technical ones.

I went back and did something I haven’t done in six months. I hate to confess, but I haven’t been reading. I love historical romances and have at least twenty sitting on a shelf that I haven’t read. Why? I don’t have the time.

I picked up one of them this past weekend and began reading. What was it about the novel that was drawing me in? What was it this novel had, that mine didn’t?

One thing that jumped out at me was character development. I have distinguishable and I think likable characters, but the depth that you get from introspection, from getting into the characters’ heads, is missing. I’m lacking that something that helps the reader connect with the characters and care about what happens to them.

I know my characters. I don’t need an explanation for why Josh did what he did. I don’t need to include what motivates him for myself. He is real to me and I care about him. I know everything about him. But my reader doesn’t.

My reader only knows what I tell them. You have to make those characters come alive and be as real to your reader as they are to you. Give them some details ( don’t over do it with mindless chatter-that creates another issue). Help them to understand your characters and why they act the way they do. Yes, you want the characters to be likable, but there’s so much more.

I’m getting off on a tangent. This blog was supposed to be about reading, and I’m morphing it into what I discovered when I picked up that novel. I guess that’s okay.

Hope you were able to take something from this blog.

-Jan R

Help Your Reader Connect!