Want To Excite Your Readers? Surprise Them!

By on September 12, 2019

Every writer knows how important it is to engage and excite their readers; a story that doesn’t do this will always fall flat. However, understanding what it is that gets readers excited is complex and, of course, dependent on the genre and the individual.

While it is near impossible to please every reader that comes across your work,  you can do yourself a favor by learning what methods you can employ to shock your readers, provide brilliant hooks that draw them in and ultimately make your book exciting to read.

One thing that is important to remember is the element of surprise. If your book is entirely predictable, it will most likely bore your readers and they’ll wonder why they wasted their time reading something where they were able to second-guess what happens at the turn of every page. If you are able to surprise your reader, however, take them to unexpected places and shock them with clever twists and turns, you’ll keep them eager to keep turning those pages and delighted with the way the story keeps them guessing until the very end. 

So how do you write great surprises/ Let’s take a look at some helpful tips:

Don’t keep your surprises completely secret

While you don’t want your story to be predictable, at the same time, if you work too hard to keep your readers entirely in the dark, this could also backfire. Leave subtle hints and clues which allow the reader to guess your twist or surprise if they are paying attention, or to suspect the turn of events or even just parts of it. Doing so will be satisfying without ruining the surprise. If you choose not to reveal any traces of what might happen until the very end, your readers may feel a bit cheated. Clever misdirection is key to making your twist just the right level of shocking, without readers feeling as though the turn of the events isn’t believable. 

Dangle the bait

Make sure that you draw your reader in by using bait. A reader should have expectations; otherwise, your twist won’t be that shocking. Depending on what genre your book sits in, and how you sell your story to readers, they’ll have certain expectations of your book, and these should be met. However, you additionally then need to add hooks, twists, and surprises that shock and delight them along the way. 

Use clever layering

Your surprises need to be built up. If they come too soon, they’ll feel forced and unbelievable. Instead, make sure that you build your story around these twists and turns, all the while leading your reader ever closer to the point where you deliver the punchline with a bang and truly surprise them. 

Place your hooks strategically

Finally, it’s always a good idea to consider where your books would be best placed. At the ends of chapters is a good place to leave them as it’s a natural break in the story, but will leave your readers desperate to find out more, and so will ensure they pick your book back up again at the first available opportunity!

Using surprises in your stories is a fantastic technique to keep your readers on the edge of their seats and wanting to know more. Use the tips above to think about how to craft clever surprises that keep your reader excited, engaged, and fully immersed in your story from beginning to end. 

bethany cadman
Bethany Cadman - bethanycadman.co.uk

About Bethany Cadman

Bethany Cadman is an author and freelance writer. Her highly anticipated debut novel 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers' is available on Amazon as both an eBook and a paperback. You can find it here - http://tinyurl.com/z47t8qf

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