How To Add Intrigue To Your Story

By on May 8, 2020

If you want your story to be successful and well-received by your target readers, you need to make sure it intrigues them. Regardless of the kind of story you are writing or which genre it falls into, this, at the very least, is imperative.

So what can you do to ensure that your story holds your reader's interest? Here are some useful tips. 

Become an expert at foreshadowing

Foreshadowing is all about dropping pieces of information that suggest what might happen in the future of your story. To do this skilfully requires practice. You don't want to reveal too much too soon, but you also don't want significant events to come out of nowhere and blindside your reader. You want to create anticipation and a sense of excitement, or foreboding about what will happen in the future in your fictional world. You need to leave a breadcrumb trail that keeps your reader guessing but also heading in the right direction. This can be done by leaving physical or sensory signs, symbolic signs, and revealing particular details that are of much greater significance later in the story, 

Make your hook unusual

If you want to draw your reader in, it's a good idea to create a sense of mystery. The hook of your story should be unique but also secretive and slightly obscure. By adding layers of mystery, we naturally catalyze the reader to ask questions that will only be answered if they keep on turning those pages. 

Keep identities secret

Another easy way to add intrigue to your story is by making the identity of a character or characters a secret. This is commonly done in murder mystery books where we don't know who killed the victim or their motivation for doing so. However, this works in many other genres too such as the tall, dark, handsome stranger who walks into a room, the hitchhiker standing on the road in the night, or the person leaking information to the other side. You can play with the identity of your characters in many ways and reveal different sides to your cast and play with the reader's expectations as a result. 

Create a sense of urgency

Another way to ensure readers stay interested in your story is to create a sense of urgency. This is an easy way to keep the action fast-paced and to ensure that characters are forced to make big decisions quickly. The greater the urgency, the more tense and exciting the plot becomes, and if your characters must discover something before they run out of time, this can make for high stakes and will keep readers on the edge of their seats. 

By using the tips above, you can ensure that your story is packed full of intrigue and will keep readers hanging on your every word!

bethany cadman
Bethany Cadman - bethanycadman.co.uk

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