"Rob Parnell is the World's
Foremost Writing Guru" - Writers Digest Best
Writers' Site - Critters #1 Best Writers' Info Site. Rob is
listed in Who's Who
Views & Clues... to Writing Success
Interesting that Fifty Shades of Grey
was the bestselling book series of 2012. Made an estimated
$200 million worldwide. A profound success for a self published book -
later picked up by Random House, of course. (And who ever said a respectable publisher would never touch a self published book. Hah!)
Curious too that such a blatantly pornographic development of the Twilight story with all its disturbing sado-masochistic connotations should become so popular.
Perhaps the appeal of 50 Shades
is in the apparent powerlessness of the heroine. Though she's horribly
abused and degraded by her 'lover', she finds him captivating and
impossible to live without.
me this is almost a metaphor for our relationship with the modern
world. We all feel powerless in a sense, victims of a constant barrage
of insanity, corruption and media exploitation that we eventually feel
we can't live without.
kind of global Stockholm Syndrome - where the aggressors are the greedy
corporate machines that have an insatiable need for our 'love' -
or rather our hard earned cash!
Just a thought...
Click on the link below to get today's special offer. Now you can learn how to emulate the success of 50 Shades - for just $11!
Good fiction is about forward
It's your job to propel the
reader through your story without having them feel they
are wading through your writing. In fact, your ultimate
aim is somehow make the reader feel they're not actually
reading at all.
It's what I call transparency
- the idea that there is nothing between your reader's
mind and your story - nothing as ugly as the text getting
in the way!
Q.E.D. is a little acronym you might want
to use to help you remember what you need to create
compelling fiction on every page of your stories. Q.E.D.
Questions encourage people to look for
answers. When readers read fiction they are asking
themselves a series of questions about your characters
and about your story.
Only when you satisfy your reader by
feeding questions and later on providing answers will the
reader feel entertained.
As you're writing, at the beginning of each new page,
ask yourself, What question am I going to place in the
reader's mind here?
You must have one – it’s what
makes the reader keep reading.
Without constantly stoking
curiosity, a reader will simply get bored and put your book down - forever.
Empathy is crucial too. We've looked at this in many of my courses.
Not only is it important that you create empathy for your
characters early on, but you will also need to keep
reinforcing it as you go.
Hopefully the actions that your characters make will take care of some of this. But you should be
aware that if you feel your characters slipping away from
you, it’s probably because you’re not keeping
them human enough - that is vulnerable - to be compelling.
A reader’s total empathy with a
character can be powerful.
It is the hallmark of all good
fiction writers. To create a hero that is credible and
popular is the goal of most leading authors. Because once
you’ve done that, you can take your readers almost
anywhere with them.
When it’s done well, the reader is
totally in your thrall and will trust you to take them
further, on the adventure that is your novel, or series
Use it consciously. Readers rarely spot
that you’re doing it deliberately. They only know
what they like and that is, for the time they are
reading, they probably like being your lead character.
Lastly, D is for Drama.
important that you create drama, conflict and tension at
least once on every page. It’s the way of modern
People want to be entertained. But they’ve
seen it all before. On TV and at the movies. Try to think
of new ways of being dramatic.
Don't get bogged down with description.
You don’t need long explanations or descriptions of
things your reader is already familiar with. It’s just not
Readers want to be thrown into the thick
of things immediately. There are a hundred ways to do
that but most of them involve action, conflict and drama.
If you find yourself wandering from the point and nothing
in particular is happening, cut back to where the last
piece of conflict was, delete all the verbiage and static
writing and move off again – this time at high
Imagine you’re a soap opera writer
where every scene counts, and every exchange is
emotionally charged. Try not to sink into melodrama
– but be aware that you’re writing primarily to
At the beginning and ending of every new
page ask yourself:
Q.E.D? Have I fulfilled the three
requirements of compelling fiction?
answer is yes then you’re probably on the way to
becoming the next bestselling author!