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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > May 2017 > Make ‘em laugh, Make ‘em CRY

Make ‘em laugh, Make ‘em CRY

Keep your readers on the emotional hook with advice from Patricia McBride

Ever wondered how authors make you want to keep reading late into the night, even when you’ve got work next day? A great plot and convincing characters are important, but not the whole story. Successful writers know how to pluck your emotional strings throughout the whole book. They write in such a way that you have no choice but to feel exactly what they want you to feel. And that means you keep reading. But how do they do it? How do they awaken emotions so strong that you go to work bleary-eyed next day?

To feel emotionally involved with our characters we have to care about them. We have to feel what they feel. Without that, the reader is likely to lose interest and stop reading half way through. So make your characters unforgettable, and make the reader care about them. This is true of baddies as well as goodies. We read on wanting the baddie to get their comeuppance, just as we want the goodie to be saved.

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About Writing Magazine

Want to make sure your readers are hooked from the start? In this month's Writing Magazine, learn how to grab your readers' attention and keep it all the way to the end. • Have you completed a first draft? We show you how to polish it to perfection. • Would your life make a good story? We show you how to transform your inspiring ideas into writing material. • Read how our star interview, Lisa McInerney, went from blogger to bestseller. • Find out about the latest writing opportunities and win £51,579 in writing prizes!

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