Is Your Story Broken Into Exciting Punches?

On placing powerful draws at close intervals in your work.

Excellent fiction (by which I mean, fiction that sells broadly) has within each page a regular series of hooks, or spicy pulls. These targeted bits draw the reader into the story, and arouse the reader’s need to know more about what will happen next, or to see more of the featured character.

Fiction that is bare of these regularly-placed punches falls flat in reception, no matter how juicy the story may otherwise be.

Elegance of writing, power of phrasing and characterization, and interest of the world will not compensate for a regular, pitter-patter rhythm of POW-POW-POW action pulls salted throughout the pages.

Bad Writing (flat, no punches):

Nermaz piloted the craft towards the pink cloud. If I can find those teasing birds, I’ll track them to their nest. His eyes scanned the fluffy wisps of gaseous moisture.

Buzzing came from above his head; he reached up, and poked the intercom.

“Talk to me,” Nermaz said.

A series of clicks and whirrs came through the transmitter.

“North, in the . . . trees are full . . . shadows.”

“Crell, I can’t hear you,” Nermaz shouted.

“. . .”

Nermaz growled, and the craft spun into the  clouds. Misty pink gas obscured the viewing screen.

Good Writing (regular punches):

Nermaz piloted the dying craft towards the pink clouds. If he could catch a glimpse of a Virgil bird, he might be able to crash land in one of their great nests.

The intercom let out a fragmented buzz. Nermaz pounded on the ceiling, and a sputter of sound came out.

“I can see . . . north of here . . . the trees.”

“Got it!” Nermaz yelled. He twisted the controls, and the viewing screen was enveloped in endless reams of misty pink. The shuttle careened to the north. Long streams of coughing black smoke flowed from the engines, and a pair of huge birds screamed and flew up at the sound the craft made.

Salt your prose with intermittent hooks, and your readers will adore the work.

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