One of the most important questions you should arouse in an audience/reader is the Question. ‘What Happens Next?’ If you can master this skill of keeping your audience’s interest up with that question, then you’ll be on your way to a successful writing career.
How many times have you watched something that was not particularly engaging but the question what happens next kept you glued waiting for the answer?
I share a few tips below on how you can get your audience/reader asking themselves that Question.
- Get us to care about your characters: This starts with us getting emotionally invested in your characters to care enough about what happens to them. It doesn’t matter if it’s your villain or your protagonist, as long as we’ve connected with your characters, we’ll start rooting for them, in turn we’ll stay around to make sure they get what they want.
- The Motivation of Your Character: The WHY of your character has to be clear. Why do they want what they want? What’s at stake if they get or don’t get what they want. If the stakes are not clear, if we don’t know why your character is doing what they’re doing, then the question ‘What happens Next’ won’t matter to us. Make sure the Motivation of your Character is as clear as can be.
- Raise the Stakes: Don’t keep the stakes in your story stagnant. Make sure you raise them throughout the story to keep the audience glued and wondering what happens next and if your character will get past the next hurdle. Also be sure not to repeat the same stakes, because the more we experience something emotionally, the less effect it has on us, so vary those obstacles to give us variety in as far as our emotions go.
- Don’t pay off before you set up something else: This ties in to raising the stakes. If you want the audience to keep asking what happens next, then make sure you set up another problem for your Protagonist before you solve the problem they’re currently going through.
- Add a Subplot: To prevent your story from getting linear and to allow your Main story room to breathe. Add in a subplot. This could be directly linked to your Protagonist, whether it’s a love interest or something else, but something that gets us to see your protagonist or the world of your story from a different Point of View. If done well, subplots help a lot in getting the audience more invested and asking ‘what happens next?’
Hope you’ve found these tips useful. Be sure to read more of those at www.damarisirunguo.com
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