Usually, the portrait is similar in everyone’s minds and contains some variation of the following: white, wintery wonderland-type scenery; trees decked out in sparkles and lights; carols being sung; time with family; bright bows and boxes wrapped in colored paper.
There’s also a feeling that is pretty universal. It’s what keeps people looking forward to this time of the year all year long.
You know what I’m talking about. It’s waiting for Christmas morning to finally get here, to rip into those gifts that have been protected by the branches of that evergreen tree…until that moment. Then there’s the excitement of what will be found beneath those ribbons and bows, veiled by the wrapping paper. We can’t help but let our imaginations run wild with what we hope may be beneath that paper.
And we know that we may be disappointed, in the end, but that’s not what matters. Because, in that moment, all we can think about are the butterflies in our tummies, of the anticipation of what might be.
Now, I want you to think for a moment about what you feel when you get into a really good book. I’m talking about the kind of book that causes you to be late for work, makes you skip out on social events or miss hours of sleep. Think about the type of book you just can’t put down.
There are those butterflies again!
As fiction writers, this should be what we want to accomplish in our writing. I recently heard the acronym, P.I.E. and liked what it stood for – to Persuade, Inform or Entertain. The last letter is the one I need you to pay attention to right now.
All authors have a duty to their readers – fiction authors’ duty is to tell a story that will entertain and excite. Readers need authors to push the envelope with each page of their book. They expect and want their imaginations to be given a work out – and most come with an open mind.
Readers want to get excited about your story. They want to get hooked on the anticipation.
I want to challenge you to remember your readers the next time you sit down to write. Tell a story for the sake of entertaining and keep the anticipation in mind.
Merry Christmas everyone and I pray you remember the real reason for the season!