Entangling the Reader in the Plot

Two people walking in the tunnelMany of you know that, surprise, surprise, I was not an English major in college.  I was a physics major, and the language I spoke and even wrote in during college was mathematics because it’s the universal language of scientists.  I found writing to be a great outlet I could only utilize during winter and summer breaks. Because of my background, I got to thinking about The Athena File and why it constitutes a good book.  I came up with a “formula” on how I hope the plot of my novels, including The Athena File, should go.

First and Second quarters + Third Quarter + Fourth Quarter = Novel

Add intensity into the equation:

[(First Quarter + Second Quarter) x Moderate Intensity] + (Third Quarter x Higher Intensity) + (Fourth Quarter x Extreme Intensity) = Dynamite Novel

Sound corny?  It is.  But hey, I had to try.  What I’m trying to lay out is how I believe reader involvement with a novel should go.  Sure, we writers would love it if someone who buys our book dives completely into it and doesn’t come up for air until they’re finished 300-plus pages later.  But, we have to be realistic.  Most readers, including myself, have other things they have to do such as clean, cook, work, care for children, and take out the trash.

So that’s when the formula comes in.  For any of you who read The Athena File, this is how I hope it will go for you.  You will begin reading the novel and instantly want to continue beyond the prologue.  First off, thank you!  During that time up to the first half, you can read it, put it down to do what you need to do, and want to continue reading so that each night, you make progress.

When you arrive at the third quarter, I hope you’ll continue reading but very reluctantly put it down because, honestly, your lunch hour is over and you truly do need to get back to work.  Or, you smelled something strange coming from the kitchen, and you need to get back to preparing supper.

By the last quarter, you should be so involved with the plot that you forgo the laundry piled up on the floor.  Or, you know you should get some sleep, but you really want to find out what happens to Abigail and David.  Finally, you arrive at the end of the novel and put it down with a smile on your face and say, “Wow.  That was really good.  Sure, it’s two in the morning, but I’m glad I finished the novel.”

And if I’m really lucky, you’ll share that in a review (more on that later).

Seriously, though.  My one desire is to share these characters and their story with you.  And the way I do that is to keep you entangled in the plot.  I always look forward to hearing from you after you’ve read my books.

I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  The work mentioned in this post is of my own writing.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255:
Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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