So you can read my books

Friday, September 28, 2012




What am I going on about now?


See? I've engaged your mind by my title.

I.) Just like you have to engage the mind of your reader.

A.) If you don't ...

1.) Readers will have nothing to do with their imaginations ...

2.) They become passive, restless.

3.) Finally, they grow bored, leading to ...

4.) Becoming non-readers!

B.) When you think Author/Reader think of a partnership like marriage ...

C.) Your imagination married to that of your reader's.

II.) Take characterization -

A.) If you want to really know someone :

1.) Watch what they do.

2.) Listen to what they say.

3.) Look to see if the Talk matches the Walk.

4.) If it does, that tells you something important about that person.

5.) If it doesn't, that tells you something even more important.

B.) Don't say Jill is a back-stabbing tramp, rather ...

1.) Show her best friend going to the hospital for an extended stay.

2.) Show Jill inviting her friend's husband over for a nice home-cooked meal for a change.

3.) Have Jill get the husband ...

a.) first, drunk.

b.) then in her bed.

C.) Draw the reader into making her own conclusions about your characters ...

1.) By showing the world through your character's eyes.

2.) By revealing what makes your character laugh or cry or swear.


Maija looked down wistfully upon the unconscious teenager bound on her gold throne and smiled.

Where to maim first?

His eyes?
No, she wanted the boy to fully take in his surroundings: the human heads mounted on the marble walls of her throne room, the steel chains snug around his body, the hopelessness of his situation.

His impish tongue?

No, Maija wanted to hear his screams of agony and his cries for mercy.

His eyelids flickered. He was finally awakening. Good. Maija squirmed in esctasy. His torture would be such a marvelous birthday present to herself.

Victor Standish awoke, consciousness returning almost instantly. His eyes widened at the mounted human heads as he looked up at the smiling Maija. Victor drew in a breath, something dark flickering in his narrowing eyes.  His lips curled into a smirk that stole her joy.

"Who's your interior decorator," he laughed, "Stephen King?"


But by their end, you know quite a lot about Maija. Her station in life. Her mindset. Her mental health. You even know a bit about Victor Standish.

Yet, I've said nothing directly about either Maija or Victor.

III.) When you present your readers with already-arrived at conclusions --

A.) You've left them with nothing to do with their minds.

B.) When you make them come to their own conclusions by DIALOGUE and ACTION

C.) You've made partners of them and the images of your characters crystalize firmly in their imaginations, taking on a life of their own.

IV.) Bore your readers and soon they'll divorce you for a more exciting, engaging partner.

A.) A few bold and subtle brushstrokes of prose on the canvas of your page ...

1.) leads your reader to fill in the rest of the scene
2.) making her a partner in your story.

B.) And it removes limitations to the depth of the characters about whom you write.

C.) Write intuitively as you go along ...

And your novel will go places that will astound both you and your happy partner in prose, the reader.


  1. This is a really interesting post. I agree that readers have to be hooked from the beginning.

  2. Gina:
    What's even scarier is that each page must hook a new reader who picks up our book and thumbs to a random page to sample our prose! Ouch!! Thanks for visiting, Roland

  3. It's hard to deal with short attention spans...

    Yes, a good title pulls them in, but do all readers have to be hooked, and then dragged through the book like the fisherman in the Old Man and the Sea? The first hook, yes, but every page could get annoying. Or are we talking tension on every page? A hook could cause tension...

    I get your point, Roland, and it's a good one to remember.

  4. Well I like the intuitively suggestion and I think that's what I did in my manuscript. Let's hope it works for me. :)

  5. D.G.:
    The title is the first thing the reader sees and sometimes it is the last if it does not catch their fancy.

    Each page should have something that sparkles and gets the reader attention: a laugh, a great line of dialogue, an evocative description -- something that will make the reader say, "I want to read more of this!" For each page be that one random page that a browsing reader scans to decide whether or not to buy our book.

    Each chapter should end in such a way that the reader (or agent or editor) wants to continue on. Do not give the reader a convenient place to stop. :-)

    The Desert Rocks:
    I pray that your intuition and instinct work for your novel. Each of our novels is like a message in a bottle we throw out into the ocean of book after book, hoping our message will reach the right eyes! :-)

  6. Roland, you really know how to attract a reader with your covers, titles, and snippets of novels. You have some enticing tips and examples from your novels.


  7. I like how you think.

    Hugs and chocolate,

    Tweeted and FB'd this.

  8. Donna:
    That means a lot coming from you. The cobwebs on my ebooks means I have to find another way to get my novels to the attention of the world at large. Maybe Neil Gaiman will stumble across my blog and mention it? :-) Hey, I write fantasy! LOL.

    Thanks. May your weekend go the way you hope it will! :-)

  9. Great excerpt -- you definitely know how to back up your writing advice!