Lesson 16: Put your characters in desperate situations right away.
If you read my last lesson "In Medias Res" you might be wondering how to jump into your story right in the middle of the action. It's simple: put your characters in desperate situations right away.
You can work in description as the situation unfolds, but readers stick with active scenes where characters struggle for something. Giving your reader a desperate situation to follow right away is an instant character-reader bonding technique.
Knowing that Suzie wears her blond hair in braids and blue is her favorite color hair bow isn't going to make your reader feel anything or want a deeper connection to Suzie. Giving Suzie a plight your reader can empathize with--that's the voodoo mind-capturing stuff great writers are known for.
Once you've captured us, then feel free to tell us Suzie likes blue hair bows (if you must, and if and only if it adds to your story in some way--that's a whole other post I'll share later).
|Bova ( rough character drawing)|
And unnecessary details can bore your reader and take their focus off your character's desperate situation.
Tell us about one of your stories where your character is thrown into a desperate situation on page one.
Visit me tomorrow for another Writer's Leap 366 lesson.