Have you ever played the game “Made You Look”?
Grabbing reader’s attention works much like that game. Somehow you must captivate their attention and hold it long enough to accomplish your task.
I often think of it when I see a magician performing a magic trick. With the slight of his hands, he’s garnered your attention enabling you to see something that’s not really there, an illusion.
Unlike the “I made you look game” and great illusionist, writing isn’t all smoke and mirrors. It takes creativity and skill of a gifted writer to capture and hold ones audience.
To accomplish this task, more than mere words or phrases are used to hold their undivided attention. The goal is to not only capture but also thrill, which isn’t always easy.
Today’s readers are book savvy individuals conscience of the written word. They won’t settle for a routine card trick or disappearing coin, expecting more. As a writer you must be greater than your last project. To do less is not only unacceptable but also you sell yourself short, as well taking the loyalty of your readers for granted.
A great writer must keep it fresh and to coin a phrase, very real to hold the ever wavering attention of most readers.
We know that we’re only providing fantasies but they expect something tangible if not the truth, and you must be prepared to have a little something extra for every reader. It’s the chemistry on paper that stimulates and engages them to stay with you from beginning to end.
As writers, we must bring our “A” game to the table. Hard work is required, pardon the cliche, but some blood sweat and tears too. All of who you are goes into the creation of every story. Believe me if you skimp on the ingredients they’ll know.
I share this formula not to discourage but to encourage and strengthen your craft. It’s my way of pulling you off to the side and given you some constructive criticism, trust and believe we all need it!
Sorry if I lost anyone while I was off chasing the rabbits that escaped from a bag of tricks. Note this is not what you want to do.
Getting back to the original subject, just as the great illusionist of today and yesteryear, they were masters at what they did and always left the audience wondering how they’d do that? And wanting more.
Another powerful gimmick is the ever popular “How I Became A Bestseller Overnight”.
We’ve all seen the sales pitch, if you want to become a best selling author you must do this and don’t do that, but I’ll tell you how to do it the right way, at a price you won’t believe! For only $19.95 the secret to your success is just a Pay Pal payment away!
Too good to be true you say, absolutely. However, you have to admit it’s genius, one of the best get rich quick schemes ever, for them though not you. If you’ll go back to their starting line, the first secret of success is already disclosed. It’s in the catch phrase that captures our attention because we all want to know. Not only did they make you look but pulled off one of the greatest magic tricks of all times.
As much as I hate to admit it, this is exactly how it’s done. Don’t mistake that I’m saying you need a gimmick but you certainly need to be crafty as well as original. The truth is there is no secret, other than being the gifted writer that you already are.
By now you’ve figured out my direction and so understand that it takes more than a few philosophical words or questionable love scenes to entertain most readers.
Trust me I know of what I speak. Before I became an author I was an avid reader, reading hundreds of books, some I couldn’t put down and others never picked them up again. I am an impressionable person, and authors that became my favorites, to this day, remain at the top of my reading list. Because they expressed themselves in a way that transformed the words that were no longer bound by paper but set free. They made me believe that every word was true feeling the emotion and passion of the characters. It was because they’d perfected their craft honing it until it was gleaming and casket sharp.
Honestly we all want to be successful and the secret of how to achieve that is insuring that what you write is worth the paper it’s written on. If you love it the readers will too.
The goal is to reach as many of them as possible, holding their attention forever instead of a “I Made You Look” moment.
This post is contributed as Guest post by Vivian E Moore