Thursday, August 11, 2011

Lights, Camera, ACTION!

Novels don't have a visual effect like a movie, so an author has to invite readers into a world developed on the page without lights and without dramatic sounds pacing the story along.

One reason I love to write and read thrillers is the building of action that makes you turn the pages.  When effective done, a reader will keep reading with such intensity that they don't even think about turning the pages, and they lose track of time.  I've had readers who have told me that they stayed up most the night to finish one of my novels because they simply couldn't put it down.  Those are comments any author loves to hear.

But for action to be effective, the characters have to be three-dimensional and people that the readers care about.  If readers cannot connect or identify with the characters, most won't finish the book.

One way action can be packed into a novel is for the end of a chapter to compel the reader to begin the next.  Leave a tidbit of mystery or suspense as the chapter concludes.  This entices a person to see what's going to happen next or say, "I'll read just one more page."  Doing this keeps readers reading.


  1. Very true. New at this business of writing, I still have to remind myself not to end the chapter when I've ended the scene.

  2. Hi Vicky,

    I read a lot of Koontz when I first started writing novels again. His earlier works are crafted in such a way that it's almost like watching a soap opera because you switch back and forth between characters as the suspense builds. I believe writing is an evolving process. The more one writes, the better they become.