As a high school English teacher, I understood the importance of infusing energy into my daily classroom presentations. It was easy to do because it was almost entirely physical. I walked up and down the aisles as I taught. I paced the front of the room. I hovered over groups of students as they worked. I waved my arms and varied the volume and intensity of my speech. I laughed and teased. I feigned surprise.
Follow us on Facebook
I did such things because it’s no easy task to keep a teenager’s attention these days, especially if your job is to bring them to love and read the works of Steinbeck and Shakespeare.
Now, in my current profession as a writer, I am tasked with the same challenge – finding ways to infuse energy into my writing to entice and engage readers. But, without being able to flail my arms and raise my voice, how is such a thing done?
There are a few ways to bring some energy to your writing:
Create emotion. The best way to engage your readers from start to finish is to drive home an emotional hook. Write characters that your readers will fall in love with and care about so that they absolutely must read to the story’s conclusion.
Use powerful language. Prose that is lively and descriptive will keep the reader dialed in. And we’re not just talking about writing beautiful, adjective-ridden paragraphs. Use strong, active verbs that draw the reader into the action.
Add a twist. Keep your readers guessing a little by tossing in a mysterious character or an unexpected twist now and again.
Write colorful characters. Develop your narrative so that it is centered on a tragic hero or a charismatic villain. Draw them beyond the one-dimensional into a real human being with quirks and flaws and even a sense of humor.
Vary sentence length. Keep the story moving and your readers grooving by switching up your sentence length. Short then long. Long, then maybe longer. Doing so will enhance the narrative’s pacing and will keep your readers on their toes.