Wanted: Instructions on Creating a Page-Turner

Wanted: Instructions on Creating a Page-Turner

Desperately Seeking A Page-Turner Primer.  If you are one or know of one, please comment below.

Edited after reading the comments:

Submissions on SOUL TACO are going as well as they could go without a sale.  Editorial comment has been very positive and complimentary, with one editor requesting a rewrite, while three others have said that they were on the cusp. The only thing holding them back is that the plot is not a “page-turner.”  So, I’m trying to learn how to write a page-turner.  David Lubar has been kind enough to help me do rejectomancy on the editors’ letters so that I have some specific things to work on. My agent remains positive, which is a good sign, I think.

By | 2007-11-25T13:15:00+00:00 November 25th, 2007|Inklings|8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. kellyrfineman November 25, 2007 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    Have you looked at How to Write a Damn Good Novel? I think it had info on that, but I might have my sources confused. I know I’ve been told to end each chapter on a page-turn – something important must be happening or imminent, so that the reader has to go on for “just one more chapter”. A close look at Dan Brown would probably help here, and maybe looking about to see if he’s written advice on how to accomplish it anywhere.

  2. davidlubar November 25, 2007 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    Always have at least one unanswered question. These can be small questions. (Who’s knocking at the door?) Or big ones. (Who killed Professor Plum?) The smaller the question, the quicker it needs to be answered. But once the questions dry up, there is no reason to turn the page other than to enjoy the company of the characters or the voice.

  3. thunderchikin November 25, 2007 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    I understand that in concept but have trouble in execution. I think I’m just stupid.

  4. susanwrites November 25, 2007 at 4:06 pm - Reply

    Hey, I’m right there alongside you with this one. (Right down to thinking I’m just stupid.)

    I’ve been reading a lot of screenwriting books trying to see if that helps and it has, some. I know I needed to make sure that I had a storyworthy question and I had to play with mine enough to get to the point that the question was worthy of a book.

    I also love DL’s comments about asking questions.

    Okay – I just went off to reread more of your blog and your website and I’m shooting you an email.

  5. marypearson November 25, 2007 at 5:13 pm - Reply

    Besides unanswered questions I would also say, balance. Keep things moving by having a balance of narrative, dialogue, action, internal thought, and a variety of settings and visuals. I think these are subtle undercurrents that keep a story moving for the reader.

  6. jennifer_d_g November 25, 2007 at 5:13 pm - Reply

    Try licking your fingers. That always helps me get the pages turned.

    Oooooh, I get what you’re asking.

    Seriously, I was just thinking about you today and was wondering how your submissions were going. You were so kind to help me with my novel and I’ve always hoped to return the favor some time. Keep me in mind, will you?

  7. thunderchikin November 25, 2007 at 5:37 pm - Reply

    I’ll definitely keep you in mind. also, I tried licking the pages, but they kept sticking to my tongue.

  8. jmprince November 25, 2007 at 11:12 pm - Reply

    Hm. Don’t ask me. I think Soul Taco is perfection itself. Sheesh. What do these people want?!

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