1. Infinitytruth
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    Infinitytruth Senior Member

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    How to get your reader emotionally invested?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Infinitytruth, Jun 13, 2011.

    Wondering about some of the techniques you guys use to get your reader invested in the piece.

    Thank you. :)
     
  2. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    Invent a problem(s) that your reader can relate to.
    Give hope that the problem(s) will be resolved.
    Start solving the problem(s).
     
  3. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    1. Make the reader invested in the character
    ---- Give them relatable qualities: nerdiness, anxiety, etc so they aren't perfect
    ---- "Save the cat" moment of doing something heroic, small acts are fine too
    ---- Give them enough quirks and distinguishable traits to make them memorable
    ---- Give them problems we can relate to

    2. Make the book a gripping read
    ---- No bland infodump beginning that will make readers think "boring" and put it back on the library shelf
    ---- Don't make the plot too predictable
    ---- Sprinkle immediate danger conflicts in among the overaching conflict

    Other things to consider...

    - Don't make things too predictable

    - Don't always give characters an easy way out

    - Keep stakes high
     
  4. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    I totally agree.

    - NO info dump, thicken the plot with only enough information to move the story forward.
    - Show what is going on do not tell.
    - Put the MC into an impossible situation and write him/her out of it.
     
  5. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    For me its more basic then that. I am the writer and the reader and I want to be invested emotionally in the characters. If I'm not chances are that the reader won't be. So my advice is write for yourself first, worry about the reader later.

    Cheers.
     
  6. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    For me, a good writing style is the most important thing. Something original, interesting, innovative, not in terms of the story, but in terms of the actual writing. I feel like on this site, a lot of the emphasis is placed on the plot and the characters, but none of that matters as much as the writing itself, especially to a publisher.
     
  7. Ged
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    Ged Senior Member

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    Give them problems, and fears, and show that beneath all those stoic veneers and heroic self-sacrifices lie human beings, scared and uncertain.

    :love: Catelyn Tully 4eva
     
  8. Ice Queen
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    Ice Queen Senior Member

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    8D And Ned. I love Ned... and Tyrion; that little guy is made of concentrated badass... lol

    Err... in reference to the topic: make the reader care about the characters,become absorbed in the setting, think about the cultures and so on; make them afraid when the danger appears and relieved when characters survive; sad when someone dies (unless its Viserys... ahem) and so on. As everyone else has been saying;we need to relate to them. Make a character's perceived strength work against him; and maybe something that might be considered a weakness end up saving his life > for example a coward who avoids a battle which ended up with the enemy killing every single one there. Or perhaps; make the character's honour be the thing that leads him into a crappy situation... (-cough- Ned -cough-).

    Oh,gawd:read A Game of Thrones! :love:
     
  9. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    Here are some things that I will do to make my readers be involved in my book.

    1. Give the readers the opportunity to know what the character's dramatic need is. Pinpoint in the eairly chapters on the current situation he or she is in. This is his "normal" personality. Don't forget to include conflicts in his/her situation without trying to add the major spin around that change the story into a new direction. Then once that is settled, you add the major spin around after the character's "normal" personality and dramatic need is established.

    2. Than, after you established what the character wants, introduce the antagonist (the major spin around) that will either try to take his goal away or tell him/her something about the goal in order to get it.

    3. Then, this is all the obstacles the characters go through and must be resolved in order to reach the goal.

    4. Have the antagonist to make it harder for the main character to either reach the goal or give him/her more challenges to reach it.

    5. And finally tell the readers how he/she will resolve the problems to reach his goal. The readers will soon or later wonder if he/she will reach the ultimate goal.

    Don't introduce the main obstacle all at once without first telling the readers what the character wants to achieve first. Then the readers would probably feel rushed and would not want to read your book again. This is just from my personal experience and not a debate. If you introduce your readers with the character's dramatic need first, you probably can manage the info dumping and see if it's too much info dumping or not.

    There are a lot of ways to "hook" your readers into reading your first page and having them to switch the page to read more. I'm glad you asked this question.

    When I sit down and read a book, theses are the types of qualities I look for in a writer, is the dramatic need, the antagonist who wants to either take the goal away or give him/her a challenge, a more complex challenge to reach the goal, and how the character reach the goal at the end of the story. And like everyone else said, Show, and don't tell. That's another quality I'm looking for in a writer, is to show in visual scenes or sequences, or situations.
     
  10. Ged
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    Ged Senior Member

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    I actually felt bad for Viserys, mostly because I liked him a lot (I have a thing for broken characters), and hoped he would repent later in the series.
     
  11. Ice Queen
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    Ice Queen Senior Member

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    I did too a little bit, but he was indredibly stupid with the Dothraki :c As if he thought he was immune, must have gotten to his head, the exile. I was very surprised though; I thought he'd be really important in the storyline!

    Also, I agree with Reggie... Never have every goal revealed at once; the sense of mystery really helps with the curiosity. Mind you, don't forget about these little tidbits either otherwise you might have people complaining that you didn't tie up loose ends... or the dreaded: "plothole"
     
  12. Gothic Vampire Queen
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    Gothic Vampire Queen Member

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    I usu sally take an experience from my life (or others) and work that experience into the chapter and it evolves from there.
     

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