Cheryl Rainfield, author of SCARS
When writing is powerful it grips readers, immerses them in the story and doesn't let them go until the end. But how do you do that?
Here is what I think helps:
-Write about something that matters deeply to you. Be passionate about the issues. Readers will sense your passion.
-Write your own truths and emotions into the fiction. This helps to make the writing stronger, make the events more real for your readers. Readers know when you're not being honest or you're not going deep enough, and truth strikes a chord in the reader.
-Give your characters depth and layers. Make sure they're not one-dimensional. When characters have depth, readers care about them more, and about what happens to those characters.
-Keep a thread of tension throughout the manuscript, ramping it up when you need to. Tension and conflict drive a story forward. Make sure that your story events all lead to the climax, otherwise it feels like a let down or a betrayal.
-Help the reader relate to your main character. Make your main character easy to identify with and empathize with (though your main character must also have flaws--people don't want to read about a perfect character, though they also don't usually want to read about a character who doesn't want to redeem themselves in some way).
-Draw on your own emotions to write. Don't hide from it. Emotions make a story feel more true, and are something readers can relate to, regardless of whether they've had that specific experience or not.
-Use specifics when you write. Bring in details (but not too many--make sure you sprinkle them throughout the action and dialogue so they don't stop the story flow). Specific details also help make the story world and events more real.
-Use all the senses--smell, touch, taste, hearing, and sight, to help the reader really be in your character and world.
And of course, get feedback on your writing. A good critique group is highly worthwhile.
Thank you, Cheryl, for sharing this with everyone. Here's Cheryl's Blog, so be sure to drop by and say hi.