Thursday, 19 August 2010
4 Ways to Improve Narrative Drive in Your Story
Today's guest post comes to you from historical novelist Sara Sheridan, who appeared twice this week at the Edinburgh International Book Festival and is about to join the Society of Authors Committee for Scotland.
Here she posts from Edinburgh, summarizing her masterclass on Narrative Drive, part of the innovative Nuts and Bolts series for aspiring writers at the Festival.
Put simply, the most important thing about your manuscript, in terms of it getting published, is that a reader has to want to read it.
That sounds obvious, but walk into any editor’s office in any publishing house and look at the slush pile. The competition is absolutely massive.
Now ask any editor how much of that slush pile is compelling, and the competition shrinks. It doesn’t shrink to nothing, but it shrinks greatly. In an increasingly competitive market—one where editors don’t get to buy whichever manuscripts they choose any more—finding your story unputdownable makes it a commercial proposition. It’s the key part of communicating your story to the wider audience of mainstream, mass-market readers. An editor can fix spelling or grammar easily (they shouldn’t have to, and they will prefer a clean manuscript, of course). But what they can’t fix is a manuscript without drive.
Read more (courtesy Writer's Digest)