As a writer, you enjoy crafting stories and most likely would be writing whether anyone ever read them or not. To have readers enjoy your story, though, that is the icing on the cake. Follow the tips below to keep readers interested in your story all the way through to the end.
Mix Things Up
A great way to keep readers tuned in to your story is to keep the pace moving. Do this by mixing up sentence length. When there is a long sentence packed with information, follow it up with a short one. Including both short and long sentences in the mix balances your story and gives it rhythm. This keeps readers moving forward through the story. On the other hand, if all your sentences are similar in length, readers are likely to get bored and stop reading.
Suspense is another excellent way to maintain reader interest in your story. You can build suspence by dropping hints about potential problems. Perhaps the characters in your story are keeping secrets. Maybe they are worried about something. By hinting at the possibility of a character hiding something, but not necessarily telling readers what it is, you create intrigue and suspense. Now readers want to know if there really is a secret and what it might be. They will keep reading to find out.
Much the same as dropping hints about hidden fears, secrets, or indecisiveness, cliff hangers also create suspense that keeps readers reading. Ending a scene or a chapter with a cliff hanger is a sure fire way to get readers to turn the page. If one of your characters is snooping through her boss’s office, have someone turn the office door knob right at the end of the scene leaving readers to wonder if the boss is about to catch your nosey character in the act.
To keep the pace moving throughout your story, refrain from explaining everything. For instance, avoid bogging readers down with a lot of backstory. When readers are stuck wading through extensive backstory and explanations, they are taken out of the main story. They begin to lose track of what was happening with the main characters. Things slow down too much when the author continuously tells readers what is happening. Instead, keep things moving by having the characters show readers what they are experiencing.
One of the main goals authors have for the stories they write is for people to read and enjoy those stories. Readers enjoy stories that peek their curiosity, as well as keep moving forward. By using varying sentence lengths, hinting at secrets, adding cliff hangers, and showing the action rather than explaining it, your story will maintain your readers’ interest all the way through to the end.