### Writing Advice 101

Jan. 26th, 2012 06:01 pmHow do I make a reader worry?

1. The reader must be able to imagine two possible outcomes.

2. The reader must care which outcome occurs.

3. The undesirable outcome must look more likely.

#1 is the important thing to me. I guess I've never considered this, not formally, anyway, and I've found that until I can visualize something, it just floats around my brain as a rather nebulous idea that I can't really grasp. I've known that I should try to lead the reader astray from the end of the story, so the ending is a surprise, but I haven't really planned it, haven't chosen that second possible outcome and led the reader in that direction so that #3 comes into play, that the reader thinks the other outcome is the most likely one to happen.

Now to see if I can actually put this into practice with the next story I write!