What could be worse than losing a reader midstream? To avoid this, one of your writing goals, whether your work is fiction or non-fiction, should be to engage your audience.
Every sentence should make your reader think, or feel, or both. Every paragraph should move your reader forward. Your readers should subconsciously feel that they’re on a boat that’s floating downstream, with maybe a few eddies or whirlpools, but no rocks!
Check your writing. Is it dry, boring? A boring sentence can ruin a paragraph; a boring paragraph can ruin a chapter; and so on. If your narrative doesn’t flow, figure out how you can rephrase your thoughts. If you can’t, maybe you need to take scissor to it.
Again, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, your writing should be engaging. Every sentence should contain one of the following elements:
- A word that makes your reader think.
- An interesting comparison, a metaphor, or a parallel.
- A sentence that moves the narrative forward.
- A writing style that speaks to your readers.
This latter point is important, especially for non-fiction. Unless you’re writing for an academic audience, don’t lecture to your readers. Talk to them. Tell them your story as if they were sitting there in your living room.
Remember, if you don’t write to move your readers, they may move on.
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