By: Paula Munier
As a reader, a writer, and an agent, I read thousands of stories a year—or at least the opening pages of thousands of stories. And, all other things being equal, the reason I most often stop reading is a lack of narrative thrust.
Narrative thrust is the taut building of
story, beat by beat, scene by scene, chapter by chapter, using the complexities
of plot and character to propel the story forward in a dramatic arc that peaks
at the climax. You must write each scene so that it leads logically to the
next, as if you were connecting a model train, car by car, presenting story
questions as you proceed down the track, pushing the action forward to its
inevitable, if unpredictable, ending.
A lack of narrative thrust occurs when one scene does not logically lead to another.
You need to connect each scene, as readers need to know what the protagonist’s motives are, and what he wants in every scene. Only then will they care about what happens next. Otherwise your story will read as a series of random scenes strung together—rather than as a compelling narrative.
Narrative thrust provides momentum for a story; it’s the gas that fuels your story’s engine. You can also think of it as the magnet that pulls the reader through the story. You know it when you experience it—just think of the last story that kept you up all night, the last novel you couldn’t read fast enough and yet didn’t want to end.
But recognizing narrative thrust as a reader and knowing how to create it as a writer are two very different things. So let’s take a look at how you can enhance the narrative thrust of your story—and how you may be unwittingly sabotaging it.
The Art of the Story Question
. . .
To read the rest of the post, click here:
If you missed my writing & marketing tweets and retweets yesterday, here they are again:
- 3 Ways to Up Your Brand Marketing Game With Video on Facebook | SocialTimes http://ow.ly/V0GcF
- The Big Reason Why Agents and Editors Often Stop Reading | Jane Friedman http://ow.ly/V0IDj
- Anne R. Allen's Blog: Disappearing Amazon Reviews: The Facts Behind Amazon's Review Purges http://ow.ly/V0IQj
- Writers On The Move: Avoiding Common Punctuation Errors Part 2: Dialogue http://ow.ly/V1rbb
- How to Write an Author Bio by Beth Barany · Writer's Fun Zone http://ow.ly/V22Ol
- All Write - Fiction Advice: Why Character Actions/Reactions Are Important – Part 2 http://ow.ly/V22YN
- When Are You Ready to Publish? | A Writer's Path http://ow.ly/V231O
- Aria Glazki: Guest Post: 12 Techniques for Emotionally Connecting with Your Readers http://ow.ly/V236j
- Stop the Carousel, I Want To Get Off: Commentary on "Tearing Our Passions to Tatters" http://ow.ly/V239y
- Positivity and Protagonists http://ow.ly/V23dv
- 11 Things You Need to Know When Writing a Memoir | WritersDigest.com http://ow.ly/V23h4