Today I’m talking about the “Romance That Snaps, Sizzles, and Pops” Workshop given by Susan Dansby during RWA’s 2010 convention. Ms. Dansby gave some tips on how to create engaging characters and get your readers to read on. I’d like to discuss just a few here:
- Make Your Reader Laugh (or Gasp)
One of her tips is to get the reader to laugh, preferably within the first 10 pages. If your book isn’t funny, use irony to engage them. The point is to create at least one scene, right up front, that will stick with your reader. That will make them need to read on. Easy enough, heh? (Yeah. Right.)
- Create Seeds For Your Story
Plant seeds for secrets that you will reveal later on in the book. For example, in my current WIP, we start off with the hero shadowing the heroine. He recognizes his attraction to her but dismisses it. Why? Because he might have to kill her. Why is that? Well, the reader has to read on to find out why (and hopefully they’ll want to by this point).
- Give Your Dialogue Punch
One of the ways you can add punch to your dialogue is to have your characters say the opposite of what they mean. That creates conflict and makes the other characters have to work to figure out what they really mean. And honestly, how many times in real life do we actually say what we mean?
- Know the End (Opposites Impact)
Not the end of your story (necessarily). But if you know your characters are going to end in one place, why not have them start in the exact opposite place? What’s more fun than a hero and heroine who hate each other at first (even though they are secretly attracted to each other)?
So, do you have any tips for making your characters engaging? If so, I’d love to hear them!
Remember, you can purchase individual workshop MP3s from RWA.
I’ll have a guest blogger on Monday, FF&P member and erotic romance author Sayde Grace (www.saydegrace.com). She’ll be heading off a recap of the “A to Zs of Alpha Heroes” Workshop.