Stick to What Readers Want

In addition to writing, we authors read a lot, don’t we? And it’s no small wonder that when we read, we critique (even though we are reading for enjoyment, we just can’t help that instinct to do so).

So, here is what I am noticing lately: even though writers live by the mantra “show, don’t tell,” many revert back to telling when they write epilogues. It seems that in an effort to wrap things up nice and neat for their readers, they forget that the same rules apply to the epilogue as to the book as a whole.

This is just a reminder not to abandon our good writing habits at the end of our books. We need to give our readers excitement and great visuals that keep them loving our books to the very last word.


The Invitation



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 rang the bell, the host ushered me into his home. Smiling, he offered me a drink, showed me where the snack 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 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 the experience.

They’ve been invited to the party and welcomed inside.

(Note: This is a reprint of an earlier post.)