Sympathetic Character: 10 Writing Techniques That Make Readers Care

Sympathetic Character: 10 Writing Techniques That Make Readers Care

Recall a time you made an effort to get someone to like you. Did you try to get them to relate to you, or want to spend more time with you? It’s kind of the same way with the main character in your book. Readers finish books when they care about what happens to the protagonist. To accomplish this, you need to craft a sympathetic character. 

When you write a book, you’re asking readers to invite your character into their homes, their hangouts, their lives. It’s important to create a protagonist your reader wants to spend time with and that they care about enough to stick around to find out what happens to them.

Without that vital concern, suspense cannot be sustained. And without suspense, the reader will lose interest in your story.  I talked about this in depth in my post on suspense.

Today, let’s talk about how to make your readers like—if not love—your characters so that you can sustain suspense in your book.

Situational Irony: 3 Steps to Surprise Your Readers With Ironic Twists

Situational Irony: 3 Steps to Surprise Your Readers With Ironic Twists

So, you’ve figured out how to write a story that works. You know you need a character, in a setting, with a problem. You know you need a series of try/fail cycles, followed by a climactic scene and the resolution. The structure is simple, but it’s not always easy.

In particular, it can be challenging to sustain and escalate the story’s momentum through those try/fail cycles. And it would be nice to have something that could give your story a delicious ribbon of flavor, instilling brilliance and meaning.

Here’s the good news—there is such a technique. It’s called situational irony, and in this article, we’re going to take a look at what it’s made of and how to construct it in your own work.

How to Write an Underdog Story: 7 Steps with Examples

How to Write an Underdog Story: 7 Steps with Examples

Everyone loves a good underdog story. In some ways, we can all relate to the downtrodden character who rises against insurmountable odds. And the requisite feel-good ending is as sweet and satisfying as a warm cup of cocoa at the end of a cold and bitter day.

The underdog plot is a sure-fire recipe for a story readers can care about, invest in, and cheer on towards a rewarding conclusion. Plus, it can be a lot of fun to write. Read on to learn more about how to craft an underdog story that will ring your reader’s happy bell.

Atmosphere Literary Definition: Genre Examples That Evoke Emotion

Atmosphere Literary Definition: Genre Examples That Evoke Emotion

Atmosphere matters. You might be someone who will pay a premium to eat at a restaurant with a certain ambience or buy a house in a setting that supports a particular feeling. But how do you use atmosphere in your book?

In like manner, your reader won’t remember every word you wrote, but if you infuse the story with atmosphere, they will remember the way it made them feel.

But how can you weave atmosphere into your story without making it feel forced? How can your story’s atmosphere evoke an emotional response and leave a lasting impression on your readers? How can you leverage this literary technique to enhance that feeling?

A strong sense of atmosphere figures into the works of William Shakespeare. Edgar Allan Poe mastered atmosphere in poems like The Raven and his haunting tales of suspense. J.K. Rowling managed it well in the Harry Potter series.

And you can learn it too.

There are many literary devices and elements of fiction a writer uses to impact the atmosphere of a literary work, including figurative language, word choice, similes, and personification. In this post, we’ll examine how point of view and genre considerations help to set the mood and establish atmosphere. 

How to Write a Mystery Novel

How to Write a Mystery Novel

So you want to know how to write a mystery novel. I’m delighted to hear it. I’ve been a mystery lover since I hid behind the Lincoln Logs in Mrs. Jenkins third grade classroom so I could finish my first Nancy Drew, undisturbed. Mystery hooked me that day, and has been leading me around by the nose ever since.