Came across this interesting video at Copyblogger. Basically, Ira Glass talked about how the mundane can be made interesting. The key is ask questions of the reader so that they are drawn in and are compelled to keep reading. What is the formula for creating compelling stories? Using his idea, I wrote the following:
Boris woke up at the crack of dawn; there was an profound silence throughout the house.
With a certain inner fear, he rose from his night’s slumber and threw on some clothes.
Sleep often cleared his mind, but, this morning there was an inner disturbance with many thoughts running through his mind. However, although his mind was noisy, there was a great silence pervading the house as he descended into the kitchen.
Still, here in the kitchen, the morning’s silence was only broken by the sound of passing cars in the distance….
Basically, this story is saying. Boris got up, got dressed and went downstairs for breakfast. But, here where is the drama, the interest in saying that? There is no bait or anything to get people wanting to read more.
However, in the above story, there is something in the writing which makes us want to keep reading. Why is the house so silent? Why is Boris a little perturbed? It has us hooked and we want to keep reading to find out why?
Good writing tries to pull us in and keep us guessing. It throws up questions and wants us to keep reading. The only problem is do we have a good reason why the house is silent?
Maybe its always silent? Maybe it’s a bank holiday and Boris has forgotten? Or maybe it is something more sinisiter
This is one thing you notice in the writing of J.K.Rowling and Dan Brown. The end of a chapter is a page turner – what is going to happen next?
See also: 7 Tips to make your writing interesting