- Make your opening really grab the reader.
- Introduce your protagonist in such a way that the reader will instantly be interested in him/her.
- Create a setting that conjures up a picture in the reader’s mind. And make it an intriguing picture.
- As your story progresses, let it be full of high and low spots, rising tension and calmer scenes. Contrast light and shade.
- Balance the ratio of narrative and dialogue so it’s a comfortable read, i.e. no long boring passages! Don’t have pages of dialogue without interaction from characters.
- Keep the tension rising, create unexpected twists and turns. At the climax, let it appear that the protagonist is about to fail. Let them succeed or fail through their own actions and choices.
- Make sure the protagonist has learned something along the way.
- When the story has concluded, end it as quickly as you can – don’t let it drag on.
- The ending is hugely important, because the lasting impression you leave on the reader will impact upon the way they regard your story or book, and you as the writer.
STRUCTURE THE CONFLICT.