Maintaining reader engagement in your book: how can you accomplish this feat? This is a challenge we face every time we start typing. The issue becomes more pressing as our books grow in length. Personally, as a reader, I adore lengthy novels. But let me clarify: I love long and well-written books. I’ve encountered my fair share of long books that ultimately became tiresome, making me somewhat cautious of them. Whether it’s a thick physical book or a lengthy progress bar on my e-reader, I can’t help but feel a bit apprehensive. Will the author be able to manage such a long narrative effectively?
As a writer, you must understand that readers will ask this question about your book. How can you ensure that they not only avoid becoming bored but also wish the book were even longer? The ultimate solution is to write an excellent book, but one crucial element is maintaining a brisk pace.
A lengthy book detailing every aspect of a character’s life is likely to exhaust readers. However, a long book that moves quickly, propelling the story and constantly offering something intriguing—that’s the kind of book I want to read.
Take C.S. Lakin’s contemporary family saga, Intended for Harm, as an example. Covering forty years, this extensive book could easily have been overwhelming for readers. Yet, Lakin skillfully maintains a swift pace by concentrating on specific periods in the family’s lives. She avoids excessive explanation and redundant emotional responses. She recognizes that readers don’t need to know every moment of those forty years, and her discernment in selecting events crucial to the plot and engaging for readers prevents the story from collapsing under its own weight. This is a crucial lesson for writers, regardless of the length of their stories!