Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Adding 'Streams of Enjoyment' to Your Novel

Do You Add ‘Streams of Enjoyment’ to Your Novels to Enhance the Reading Experience?

Sometimes I think that many writers are so worried about ‘the needs of the novel’ that they forget that the whole endeavor is ultimately about the reader’s enjoyment; that is, about creating the best reading experience.

I’m writing a book now demonstrating over a hundred ways to reward a reader for reading a novel; however, there is a very simple way to greatly increase reader enjoyment: increase your streams of enjoyment!

Streams of Reader Enjoyment

1. the romance itself: the lively, emotional, interaction between the hero and heroine.

2. having an interesting location which fascinates the reader. Think of locations that are interesting in their own right. Perhaps an exotic “Swept Away” location, the wilds of Africa, deep in the Amazon, a ‘forbidden’ town in China, a 17th Century Amish village, a Danish Town in California (Salvang).

3. interesting occupations that also have the potential to fascinate the reader. A skydiving instructor, a guide to the ‘underground’ city, an archeologist on a dig, professional motorcycle racer, travel planner for people who take their dogs with them, and so on.

4. interesting goals that show the inner workings of various competitions or organizations. The goal of winning the highest dog show award, horsemanship, triathlon, chess championship, first woman to do X.

5. interesting hobbies that work into the story. Being a glider pilot, balloonist, white water rafter, cave explorer, and so on.

6. have interesting events happening in the story (even if just in the background) like being part of the Rose Parade, the Marti Gras, Experimental Aircraft Show, Bicycle Tours, National Craft Shows, National Bluegrass Festivals, and so on.

But That’s Not The Story I want to tell.

Writers often tell me this. In their world it is all about the story they want to tell. It’s not about the story readers want to read.

This reminds me of what happened to me in Wal-Mart yesterday. I asked the saleslady where the big plastic garbage bags were. (I have trouble walking and need to save steps where I can). She said the bags were all the way at the end of the store in gardening. I said, “That’s too far”. She said, “Well, then you’ll have to do without.”

I just wondered if she were an unpublished writer.

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