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Welcome to my blog. Here you will find tips that will help you write books and articles that establish you as the expert in your market.
                   --Lee Pound

March 2020
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The Secret Trick to Keeping Your Readers Reading

One of the biggest complaints I get from writers is, “Nobody reads my stuff!”

Some people use this as an excuse to not put quality into their writing. If nobody reads it, why bother?

Yet think of the novelist, the screenwriter, and the storyteller, who write about people who never existed, events that never happened, problems that nobody cares about, sometimes in locations that don’t exist. And people read them. By the thousands. Hundreds of pages worth.

So what’s the secret? How does one group of writers get people to read about meaningless stuff when another group can’t get them reading about material that matters?

Here’s the biggest secret. People continue to read when they want to know something on an emotional level.

The key to doing this is to create questions in the reader’s mind. It’s relatively simple to do but there is one technique we’ll get to in a moment that makes it extremely powerful.

Here’s an example. The first sentence of one of my novels is, “For me it began with a lie.” How many questions does that raise in your mind? Who is me? What began? What was the lie? Who is involved? You could probably come up with more. The point is, after planting that many questions in your reader’s mind, how could your reader not continue to read? After all, they want the answers.

Our natural inclination as writers is to answer the questions we’ve just posed. In fact, we usually answer all the questions we pose at the end of each chapter.

Here’s the important technique. Think about this. If you as the writer answer all the reader’s questions at any point, the reader thinks you are done and stops reading. Therefore, in the next sentence, don’t answer the questions. Ask a few more. Then answer a few of the questions.

I call this technique weaving. You weave the questions and answers through your book and you do this whether you are writing fiction or non-fiction. Keep the reader wanting more by telling him or her that you will give them more later in the book. At the end of every chapter, plant a question in the reader’s mind and they continue to read.

This is the key to creating suspense in fiction and anticipation in non-fiction. This keeps your reader interested and involved in your material.

Here’s your assignment. Go back to one of your favorite novels and find the places where the author plants questions in your mind and where they get answered. Note that there will always be unanswered questions. Next look at a favorite non-fiction writer, one who kept your attention. Note that the writer will foreshadow information to come, creating unanswered questions in your mind.

Use this technique and you will create writing, whether blogs, books, or articles, that your readers will find impossible to put down.

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