what attracts readers
Question: Your blog is amazing. You've done a great job in helping people like me. I have a thousand questions on mind now but anyways I have just started writing my first book and I've already thought of the structure but somehow I'm not able to express it. I asked for views and people said my story is quite interesting but when I began writing and showed them first few chapters they found it boring. Maybe something is wrong with the way I'm writing. I want the reader to enjoy my book. Plz help.
Answer: It's impossible for me to diagnose the exact problem without seeing your work, and I don't provide this type of service.
I will say that when people first start writing they either tend to overwrite or underwrite or simply not have developed a sense of flow.
So I'm going to give you the same 3-4 pieces of advice I give the person below. Read on ...
How to Write Fluidly
Question: I've only just begun to write. I highly doubt I'll write a novel one day but I'd like to try. I know I should write every day to better improve my skills and I do (usually..) but whatever I write sounds somewhat choppy. I can't tell if it's the descriptions or what, I think it might be to be honest. They're probably too long, however, I thought I'd provide some sort of sample of my writing. (Since I have only one on hand that I wrote not so long ago, bear with me. )
** Also, I don't think anyone has asked this question or if they have then I am sorry.**
Anyways, that's about all I've got so far, I haven't decided whether or not I have too much description (which I think I do) or I'm giving away too much at one time. It also isn't good that I have no idea where this is going but I'll figure that out when I get there.
Thanks for the help!!! Thanks for bothering to read this at all actually. I appreciate it!!
Answer: I deleted your writing sample for two reasons. First, it's my policy not to critique stories or excerpts people submit because it would just be too time consuming. Second, as you admit yourself, you're not quite ready to be holding your work up to the world's scrutiny.
In addition to writing regularly (good for you), there are two other time tested ways to develop your sense of how language should flow.
The first is to read a lot (which I hope you already do). Exposure to examples of great writing is invaluable.
The second method I recommend is one which most people find boring and tedious, but can pay off enormously.
Here's how it works...
Get some books you love written by several successful authors, preferably within the last 50 years or so.
Sit down once a day or once a week and copy out a chapter from one of these books, either in longhand or via keyboard.
I know it sounds tedious. But this exercise forces you to slow down and pay close attention to every word. The physical act of transcribing the language can really help you develop your sense of how to assemble words into your own sentences and paragraphs.
The reason I suggest using several authors is that, if you do this exercise with just one author, you may find your style unconsciously becomes too much an imitation of that author. Using a variety of authors helps you develop your own style.
You could make this a regular exercise, but even if you do it just a dozen times or so, you will notice your own writing style improves remarkably.
A third method, if this proves too boring, is to read the chapters out loud, over and over, to the point where you have them almost memorized.
People who practice stage acting or take drama classes often become better writers because reciting and memorizing lines helps with their own sense of language and story. This is also why teachers used to make students memorize and recite poetry.
Like copying, memorizing and reciting good writing forces you to pay close attention to every word, which is what develops your instinct for language..
Best of luck.