Into The Action: Placing Your Reader In The Story

May 9, 2018

People read for adventure, for the chance to escape to a place that is exciting and different. Part of the art of being a writer of great stories is the ability to bring your reader into the scene, to place them dead center in a dramatic shootout or right alongside the main character as she fights off an attacker. The best way to draw your reader in is to engage all of their senses.

Sight:              What should the reader see? The color, the brilliance, the movement of things paints a picture of the scene and your reader can easily bring it to life with their imagination if you give them the right images.

Sound:            What should the reader hear? Is the room so quiet that you could hear the floors settling or is there the soft shuffling of unidentifiable movement all around?

Smell:              What should the reader smell? Is there a sharp, burnt scent originating from the spark that caused the lights to go out?

Touch:            What should the reader feel? Touch is very important; this allows the reader to simulate a physical feeling in their own body. Explain the searing pain that washes over the victim’s bare back as the intruder drags her across the thick carpet.

Taste:              What should the reader taste? Taste is often forgotten but extremely important and does not relate only to food. Describe how the man can taste the smoke caused by the fire that has trapped him in the basement threatening to consume him at any moment.

Of course you cannot, or at least should not try to engage each of the reader’s senses with every new event or idea that you detail, this will bore your reader and could be a distraction, but strategically placed descriptions that allow the reader to use their senses will draw them into the moment in the most intimate way. Bringing your reader into the story by touching all of their senses will give the reader a better-rounded experience and the next time they want to take a trip out of their own world, your book will be the first one they grab.

Jean Nicole Rivers

BWT: The Unwanted: https://tinyurl.com/y89hru75

BWT: The Secret Keepers: https://tinyurl.com/yctrtqft




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