The S Theory of Compelling Storytelling

  Forcing Fiction and Narrative Nonfiction Readers to Turn the Page

 The first page sells the book.   –Mickey Spillane

 Agents, editors and book buyers only read far enough to make a decision. If they don’t like what they read on page one, they won’t turn the page. Book buyers may not read the second sentence of a book in a bookstore. This leads to “The S Theory of Storytelling” for fiction and narrative nonfiction that writers want to read like novels:

 Style

Story

Setting

Someone

Something

Something Said

or Something Else

on page one must be compelling enough

to make agents, editors, and book buyers turn the page.

Your book will compete with the growing number of ways consumers can use their free time and discretionary income. So every word you write is an audition to get your readers to read the next word. Every line you write must convince your readers to read the next line. Assume you have only one sentence to convince browsers to keep reading. Every page you write must arouse enough interest to keep readers turning the pages. And you face that challenge on every page you write except the last one.

The last page sells the next book. –Mickey Spillane

 

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2 Responses to The S Theory of Compelling Storytelling

  1. Pat Browning says:

    Michael,

    I love this! May I repeat it on my blog at http://www.murderousmusings.blogspot.com; also on the listservs of OWFI (Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc.), Sisters in Crime-Internet Chapter, and Senior Sleuths?

    Pat Browning
    ABSINTHE OF MALICE
    Krill Press 2008
    Also on Kindle $1.99

    • Glad you like it. Where would mystery writers be without instant mayhem? Please share it and other posts if you wish, the source, and larsenpomada.com. FYI: Elizabeth and I speak at conferences. Best of luck with your books.

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