By: Traci Kenworth
Interest Equals Education
“Reading changes your life and unlocks worlds unknown or forgotten, taking travelers around the world and through time. Reading helps you escape the confines of school and pursue your own education.” – Donalyn Miller
Know Your Competition
Besides other writing sites, there are tech gadgets to focus on, so how do we keep readers interested? Can we compete with video games, television, and the internet? Should we even try?
Find Topics that Interest Others – Then Add Your Spin
I get blogs delivered to my email every day. While this makes for a ton of mail to read, I often discover topics others have written about, where I differ in the approach, style, or tone, and I can put my spin on that topic.
You can do the same.
It’s not cheating if you put your slant on things. Maybe you’re for or against something where someone else has the opposite view; then write an opposing response. Think of ways to expand, embellish, or broaden the topic. In this, you can think either breadth or width of the subject and hone in on one aspect or expand the topic’s scope.
Take Advice about Expanding and Exploring Your Topic
For instance, I recently read a post about whether you should go into detail about your world’s surroundings. Some writers think you should leave it up to the readers and just reveal enough descriptors to guide them, while others believe you should go all out. I’ve been taking Master Classes with Neil Gaiman, and he suggests that you set the stage in the beginning. For instance, in his Graveyard book, he describes two characters, then a gate leading into the world and then takes you inside with his descriptions. Of course, you don’t want to use all of your descriptions in the first chapter.
I also like James Scott Bell’s advice about groups of threes. Describe three things of importance, move on to the characters, then the action, and when you go into detail on any of those, he suggests doing these in threes.
Bring in People and Stories that the Reader Recognizes
Everyone loves to learn more about their favorite stories and authors. They have millions of questions about the worlds, characters, creatures, problems, and solutions involved. They like to hear how an author first came up with the idea.
- What inspired them?
- Was there something happening in their life that prompted this post or book?
- Did they realize the solution to a problem and wanted to share it?
What they had for breakfast this morning. Lol. Well, maybe not that one.
They also like to hear what they’ve been up to, their latest story or plot ideas, and where they got their inspiration. They’re keen on learning all that they can. Of course, within reason.
Interview other authors you know and even some of those you don’t. It’ll bring your readers in and new ones that know the author. Shahnaz Radjy has done several author interviews here at Two Drops of Ink, and each helped me learn about the author, their book, and their writing process.
Write About Your Favorite Books
Book reviews are easily some of the most popular topics I write about because my followers want to know about books I’ve read and recommend. I read books on different subjects and different genres. They say it’s good to read in a genre outside your genre as well as those within it. Reading both gives you insight into something you might not know or help you see where to improve your writing or story telling.
Talking about favorite books gets readers discussing them as well and sparks comments. That benefits your blog’s stats. Once talking, keep them coming back to read more books that you liked. I generally try to refrain from writing about books I wouldn’t say I liked as I feel, as a writer, I shouldn’t criticize another’s work. I may have my opinion, but I don’t need to tear down another author to make a point.
Write about Television or Movies
Everyone loves to hear about their favorite television shows or movies. Just don’t add spoilers without alerting your readers first. It’s frustrating to read about something I want to see, and the writer will come right out with what happens in a major scene or tell me the ending with no warning. Now I don’t read the reviews on something I want to see—until after I’ve seen it. Then I go back and read about that person’s opinion versus my own.
Some writers use shows to compare the lessons in storytelling versus what was on the screen. Again, alert if there are spoilers. I’ve had quite a few Avenger movies spoiled for me this way. Don’t assume everyone’s seen something. No matter how much time has passed. I do love to see the lessons in the onscreen stories brought to light by a writer. Showing why they did a twist here or there, the dark moment, and so on. It helps me recognize what the writer is trying to get across and compare my stories to such.
What Are Interests You Have Besides Writing?
- Do you collect rocks?
- What shape and size, and color?
- What do they mean to you?
- Are they from states you visited?
- What kind?
- Are they in a tank or pond?
- How do you care for them?
- How do you keep the cat from eating them?
- Do you draw or paint?
- What catches your eye?
- Do you use a pen or ink?
- Do you color or paint the image?
- What artists inspire you?
- Do you paint nature or people?
It’s all about your interests, the things that bring you back to a smile that let your shoulders lift at the end of the day.
Translate Your Interest into Your Reader’s Interest
Now that people are working from home in some places, there’s more time to explore new things. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do, and realize you have time for the DYI remodel? Try it. No one’s around to mock you about it.
Or if you are writing at home with family around, you may need to close the door while you work on whatever project you’re considering. If you tell your loved ones you’d like some time to write, work on your project or just practice a hobby, I’m sure they’ll allow it.
The point is: you can write about many, many things. Your day. Your interests. Heck, your favorite football team. There will always be someone out there interested.
They may tell others, and they’ll come along next time. Your readership will grow because friends are recommending your writing, books, or blogs.
Find Other Interests and Platforms
This is the time to reflect and enjoy life. Consider what grabs your attention. Please write it down. Repeat. Edit. Revise. Publish. Repeat.
Sooner or later, readers will come to know that you’re going to have something to blog about that you enjoy. So, get inspired!
Bio: Traci Kenworth
Traci Kenworth writes all genres of YA as well as the occasional historical romance. She lives in Ohio with her son, daughter, and four cats, chasing snippets of whatever story she’s working on at the time.
She has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. Writing saved her during a dark period in her life.
She is forever grateful to God for this way out of the darkness and into the light. That’s the type of hero/heroine she writes about, survivors and those they love. Her writings show others a way back when they think everything is lost.
Her character’s stories give the reader that most welcome gift – hope. Some other things she enjoys: genealogy, riding horseback, and, of course, reading.
Follow Traci on her adventures of getting published.
Connect with Traci at: