Hello, my name is Rachel and I'm a chronic skimmer. Here are the twelve steps in keeping my attention.
- Love the white space. It usually means the author will give me plenty of active, realistic dialogue. I absolutely cringe when I flip to a page that has no indents or no quote marks. Yes, there are circumstances that require it on occasion, but keep it to a minimum.
- Keep the description light and sprinkled throughout. I don't need a room setup before you walk a character into it. Let them walk in, chat, move around and describe things as the character would come to them.
- Be sure that you're in the right POV. Sometimes when I'm reading, the author is in the wrong person's pov and it doesn't ring true to the scene.
- Keep the language consistent. (I struggle with this myself) You can't start the story off in a NY dialect and end in a country twang. I'll skim back to that NY feel. It's what I fell in love with enough to get past page three.
- Don't let any of the main characters whine. I can't stand even the villain to get whiney. Secondary characters I can read through, but a nagging villain will make me skim those parts.
- Make each word count. If you are fluffing the writing to hit a word count, it will kill the pacing and therefore set my skimming into motion.
- Keep the dialogue interesting. If it sounds like something my granny would say, chances are I'm not going to be able to stick with it. That doesn't mean you have to use the hippest slang, but it needs to feel current.
- Check out your facts. If you're going to write about something that's not familiar to you, do a bit of research. I hate catching an author's errors when it should be a subject that they've researched.
- Keep the setting moving as much as your characters. I don't want to see them in the same place for ½ of the novel.
- That also doesn't mean that I want them in 32 different settings, unless you're writing the next big Indiana Jones replacement.
- Stick to the genre. Remember that if it's romance, keep the hero and heroine together enough to spark a flame. If it's horror, I want to feel scared--at least once.
- The number one way to keep me from skimming: Love your story. You can tell when an author loves their own story, it's like the words are formed with the love. The characters are more alive. The setting and world building is richer. I've seen it my own writing and I notice it in others. You have to love your story first, then you can fix all the other things that make it great.
Rachel's writing career began at the impressionable age of twelve with a poem dedicated to the soldiers of Desert Storm. A dark macabre affair that earned her a publication in an anthology and many raised eyebrows from family and friends, she hid her poetry and artistic style for years…
Tucked away in the heart of Central Texas, with the loving support of her husband and three children, she dusted the cobwebs from her craft. Returning to those twisted regions of her mind, she creates dark urban fantasies and soul-searching paranormal romance.
To learn where love twists the soul and lights the shadows, visit Rachel at http://www.rachelfirasek.com/
It's an empath thing...
Using your "powers" to help the Dark Hills Police Department hunt down serial killers doesn't leave much time for dating. Not that Piper Anast is complaining. The last thing she needs is some guy brushing up against her and pumping his pornographic thoughts into her head.
When she meets Bennett Slade, a sexy, tormented vampire, Piper stumbles headlong into a telepathic connection with his missing daughter. She can't leave the kid to the evil surrounding her unwanted visions, nor can she resist her draw to Slade. He's the first guy she's been able to touch vision-free in, well, forever.
As she and Slade close in on the evil creature holding his daughter, Piper's powers morph into a deadly fury. To save Slade's daughter-and herself-Piper must face down demons she never knew she had and trust the one thing she keeps from everyone.