Saturday, November 10, 2012

Rattle Readers: 7 Quick Tricks

Hi folks, I'm writing a series on what is provocative about fiction, what rattles readers. I'm at the SCBWI New Mexico Retreat right now, so this week is going to short and sweet.  I hope one of these tricks helps you rattle the cages!  

1. You're my sister, Leia.  I'm you're father, Luke. Yes, revealing a deep dark secret is a fab way to shock your reader. I do request that you shock me. Don't make me giggle. I'm borrowing from the movies.

2. Sixth Sense us, I mean if you can make the reader look over some very important fact like your main character is dead until a big reveal at the end, good. If you do this, well, you get a shiny sticker.

3. Strand us somewhere terrible: the woods, the ocean, the Arctic, a haunted house, in a pit with snakes, the desert,  the moon, the turret of a castle, Oz. Any convenient spot will do.

4. Have someone your mc absolutely trusts betray her. We will really appreciate it.

5. Take something tried and true and turn it upside down. You know Cinderella, or Seven Samurai, or the Poky Little Puppy.  Reinvent and twist.

6. This is obvious.  Murder the parents, best friend, dog, or any choice character. Violent deaths always rattle readers the most.

7. Have your mc murder the parents, best friend, dog or any choice character.   Yikes!

There are lots to ways to shock us. these happen to be a few that I think are AWESOME. I have a tear trickling down my cheek.  If you can think of more, please post. I hope you come back next week.

No doodles. Computer is not being nice. 

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.   Maya Angelou


Vijaya said...

Great tips.
One suggestion -- quit being nice to your MC or giving him or her a break. Rattle them ...

Mirka Breen said...

Oh, good. Phew... My WIP is shocking according to these^.

Candilynn Fite said...

YES! Put them in impossible situations, and then, push em' down again. And again. -Love these, Molly. Hope the retreat was super. :)

MollyMom103 said...

I'm slowly winding my way back to Texas. Thank for the tip, Vijaya!

I can't wait to be shocked, Mirka!

We will make the me suffer, Candi.