Sunday, April 10, 2011

Put Me There!

Chances are I don't want to read your book. Chances are it's not up to my reading standards. Why should I read your book when I could read something better? Just to be nice? Fat chance! Even if your book is free I'll probably not read it. Why? Because there's probably a better book to read. Unless, of course, yours is one of those rare gems.

Which it probably isn't. Because chances are, you have not put me there.

Where is there? Where the action is.

The action is in the active voice. Active voice invites the reader along for the ride. Consider the opening sentences from my WIP (work-in-progress):

The noonday glint of the glass doors across the street caught Howard’s attention for the hundredth time. This time though, he looked up.

Aren't you at least a little curious about what will happen next?

If you aren't, I haven't done my job. And if as an author, you're not putting me right there with your people, allowing me to empathize with them--to walk the streets they walk and hold hands with the people they hold hands with--I'm going to go elsewhere looking for other characters worth spending more time with.


Julie Musil said...

Your opening lines caught my attention! Nice job.

Chris Hunt said...

Thanks Julie!