Welcome to my blog, Writers of the Lost Arc. Here you'll find writing exercises and tips, Jewish stuff, and, well, we'll see.

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BLOG: Writers of the Lost Arc

How to write a page-turner

January 13, 2016

Tags: Writing Tips, How to write a page-turner, Ian McEwan, the Art of Unease, Master of Dread, writing prompts

Here’s a great tip I came across. Make sure to end each chapter with something your main character longs to happen, or dreads will happen. Longing and dread. Good things to keep in mind. But how to create that?

Ian McEwan is considered a literary writer who knows how to hook the reader with novels of “page-turning excitement.” In this old New Yorker profile, (The Art of Unease, 2009), he quotes Henry James who said the novel’s main obligation is to be interesting. McEwan finds most novels don’t succeed at this basic level.

After reading the rather long profile, I came away with two tools to create narrative tension: (more…)