Monday, April 18, 2011

MNO is for Motivation


I abandon today and perhaps indefinitely my attempt to relate A is for Anecdotes for the Alex J. Cavanaugh et al A to Z Challenge.

N is for nuffsenuff, and I'm not building readers, I'm alienating them with a deluge of pointless posts.

So I return to the topic of WRITING.

I learn something every time I write, every day. Let me tell you what I am learning on my latest novel:


To motivate the reader, you must stimulate them. This translates to entertainment. I like to KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid), so I lump all reader motivations into TWO categories:

o Imagination
o Intellect

You stimulate the reader by tickling either their imagination, or their intellect, or sometimes both, and this provides the MOTIVATION, the thrust, the push the umph the force that drives the reader from page to page to chapter to book to series to movie to the coup de gras, your own action figure.

So I'm working on MOTIVATION in my latest long piece. I am writing forward -- not backward, onward ho to the end! -- but keeping in mind that later, I will need to implant stronger motivations to keep the reader surging through the pages of that novel.

For me, I use a combination of Imagination and Intellect, because that's who I am. I'm an engineer-writer. I use scenery to stimulate the senses, and implant what I hope are intellectually stimulating subtle points throughout, with an undertow of questions that nag at the reader who drops my piece mid-chapter.

How about you? How do you motivate your reader? What beside Intellect and Imagination do you use to urge your reader through to the ending?

- Eric


Stephanie Lorée said...

Sad. I enjoyed your humorous stories.

Though I can see how some might have been offended by Bloody Stripper. But then, I have to wonder, are those people even worth your time?

To answer your question, I like high stakes and character empathy to keep readers reading. If they care about the protag, then they'll care about the horrible crap I'm putting him through. Otherwise, I'm not doing my job.

Karen Walker said...

I try not to think about motivating my reader when I write. I just write what bubbles up from deep within. And pray it touches someone. Found you thru the a-z challenge. Nice to "meet" you.

Wine and Words said...

I was enjoying A-Z. I did read them all, though wasn't in a commenting mood :)

What do I do to motivate readers? Apparantly nothing, as few read. Ha! It's more for me. Always has been.

Anne Gallagher said...

Sexual tension and the angst of following through with it. The age old question -- will they or won't they? It's what keeps me reading.

dolorah said...

Emototive characterization is my hook.

I get my reader involved in the character's POV; make them feel a part of the story relates to their own lives. Even in fantasy.

Characters are my focus. Once the reader relates to the character, then the plot can be about almost anything, as long as it follows a logical progression.

Your stories here did that for me. The published works that I read of yours also have a talent for drawing me into the character, and thus making me believe in whatever "quest" they embark on.

Follow your own writing heart Eric. Not every story is right for every reader.


Cindy said...

I was enjoying your stories as well...

I'm not a writer so enjoy reading stories and anecdotes more than info about writing... Though it is interesting sometimes to try to relate people's discussion about writing into my photography--- ie: for this post, how would I draw people in and get them to wonder and think when viewing a photo I have crafted?