You hear the music and laughter as you walk up the steps and ring the doorbell. The host of the party opens the door, steps outside, and tells you about the great time guests are having inside. Then, he closes the door, leaving you standing there thinking, “I got an invitation. Why didn’t the guy invite me in?”
Contrast that with a gathering I went to recently. A few moments after I knocked on the door, the host ushered me into his home. Smiling, he offered me a drink, showed me where the snacks were, and drew me into a fun conversation with a group of party-goers.
I immediately felt at home…valued…welcome.
Sound like some books you’ve read?
Sometimes you feel like your time and money have been wasted; others have a way of keeping you turning the pages late into the night.
What makes the difference?
The author of the second book welcomed you in, showed you to the snack table, and made your stay interesting.
As writers, we are told to begin our books by dropping our reader into the midst of action. This is “showing.”
But, some writers “tell” their stories. And that doesn’t make the reader feel as much a part of the reading experience.
Dropping the reader into the midst of the action is MORE than just making the story exciting. It also makes the reader feel they are sharing in the experience.
They’ve been invited to the party and welcomed inside.