I believe all writers share this fantasy: a customer is wandering through a bookstore and spots our book on the shelves. He pauses, picks up the book and skims the first few lines. At that moment, the world fades away and the reader falls, like Alice in Wonderland, into our fictional world. The reader keeps on reading, page after page, until he stumbles to the cash register and buys the book.
All right, we all know it’s a fantasy, but the question is a valuable one: how do we convince the reader to linger in our fictional world and keep turning the pages? Studies show that it takes the reader less than 10 seconds to decide whether to continue reading or put the book down. So how do we make the most of those 10 seconds?
Over the next few posts, I’ll cover some of the key elements, which help…
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