Yes, I have discovered the secret to writing a book that will keep your readers engaged from start to finish. This well-kept secret was unveiled in a very unassuming writer’s workshop sponsored by The Loft Literary Center this past Saturday.
‘What!? Why didn’t I know about this,’ you ask?
I’m sure if they would have advertised the workshop as providing this sought after secret, every one of the attenders would have been in the room. But they didn’t. They hid this secret under the title “Paragraph Party.” The workshop was led by Minneapolis writer, Dennis Cass and was part of the 50 and Better Creative Writing Conference. (Age does have its privileges.)
To write a good story, we all know that you need a strong beginning, a powerful ending and a middle that maintains the momentum between those two points. It is that middle piece, the mainstay of a book, that can be so difficult to accomplish. How do they do it, regardless of genre or subject matter?
Should I tell you? Give away this secret (which I received totally free)?
Oh, okay! Here it is:
Not just plain old, ordinary paragraphs that break up the flow of words, but well structured paragraphs, one after another after another, from front to back.
Just like a great story, a great paragraph hooks you right at the beginning and draws you in. Then the middle of the paragraph moves you along, advances the story. As you exit the paragraph, it should push you towards the next one. It is that push at the end of a paragraph and the pull at the beginning of the next one that keeps the reader engaged and turning the pages.
Each paragraph has a very distinct purpose in the story as a whole. That is true whether it is one sentence, three sentences or more. If your book is filled with one great paragraph after another, it will be hard to put down.
There it is. The secret we’ve all wanted to know.
If we examine our paragraphs as we edit our books and articles, we will find our weak links.
Are ready to write that page turner now?