In my trilogy, “The Chosen One of Allivar” I leave many hints and clues that will only be revealed at the end of the story. This technique is what I look for in stories. I am currently reading George RR Martin’s “Game of Thrones.” I am a slow reader because I am trying to guess where Mr. Martin is leading me. The story started off slowly for me, but now it has leveled off and is a much faster read. The key point is that he leads me to not want to put the book down. But, being a slow reader, I do not have enough time in my day to finish it as fast as I would like.
For me, the element of surprise is essential to great stories. When you are able to foretell the ending, and the ending is less than you expected, you lose interest in the story and the author. I was a huge Steven King fan until I finished “The Stand”. I have not attempted to read anything of his since then. He is a great, although eccentric writer, but when an ending appears illogical, it seems as if the writer gave up on the story. I have read commentary on established authors taking too much time between releases and that their quality of stories starts to dissipate. When I start reading a majority of negative commentaries on my works, then I will know that it is time to call an end to writing.
When crafting my stories, I want to make every sentence count – whether to assist you in visualizing the scene, or to prepare you for the next or future scenes. Sometimes it involves backtracking as the story evolves. This is what makes writing fiction enjoyable – it is 100% use of your imagination. So if you are writing a novel, take your time and make it the best you can. Challenge a reader’s mind with hints and clues. I am hearing from readers that have gone back to re-read the story to see if they can catch the hints I had provided. It is nice to hear them tell me “I am re-thinking the way I read stories.”
I am currently writing on the fourth book of my eighteen story mythology. It is my hope that once readers have absorbed this mythology, they will want to return to it over and over again.
What stories do you like to read or write and what book have you read rrecently that kept you guessing?