Nancy's Books

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Keep the Readers Interested/Calls for Submissions

This week I’m continuing to discuss ways to keep the readers interested in the story.

1. Add details. Think about the setting. If the area is mountainous, consider a waterfall. Let the reader feel the mist and hear the water drip, trickle, or pound against rock. Can you smell the aroma of the plants and flowers? Engage the reader with the use of senses for major scenes. Two or three senses place the reader in the midst of the setting and action. Show them the scene with words that paint pictures.

2. Ask questions. Throughout the narrative ask the question, “What if…” What if the character had to dive over the waterfall, what would happen? What if the character found a cave beneath the waterfall? What if the character was captured at the waterfall?

3. Decisions. Make the character face difficult decisions in which there is no easy way out and no easy answers. This increases the tension and the emotional drama making a more compelling story. Write the scenes so they lead the character in a logical sense to making the decision. The character should face tough choices and react to choices to reach the goal or overcome the problem.

4. Character struggles alone. The character experiencing the problem is the one who solves the problem. A knight in shining armor, Aunt Maebelle, or big brother should not be thrown into the mix to help out the character in trouble and save him/her in the end. Provide a goal for the character and lots of pitfalls. The trouble the character experiences is the story. The more trouble, the more interesting the story.

What keeps you interested in a story?

Call for Submissions for Adult Writers


A general interest magazine published by the Boy Scouts of America. Major articles run 500-1,500 words and pay $400 to $1,500. Covers sports, history, how-to and more. See the BSA's merit badges for ideas. Departments run up to 600 words and pay $100 to $400. Many topics. Must entertain boys ages 6-18. Write for a 12-year-old.
Details at

Call for Submissions for Student Writers


P.O. Box 3939, Eugene, OR 97403. International nonprofit quarterly children's magazine featuring writing and art by children ages 7-18. Writing may be submitted in any language and from any country. Awarded the 1995 Golden Shoestring Award by Educational Press Association of America. Publishes original artwork, photos, stories, pen pal letters, recipes, cultural celebrations, songs, games, book reviews; writings about your background, culture, religion, interests, and experiences, etc.

1 comment:

  1. Characters and conflict keep me turning the pages.
    donna v.