Seducing the Reader

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Paul Whybrow

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Jun 20, 2015
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Cornwall, UK
I came across a startling piece of advice yesterday, which describes how to seduce the reader. According to science-fiction author, Colin Greenland writing is all foreplay:

Plotting is like sex. Plotting is about desire and satisfaction, anticipation and release. You have to arouse your readers' desire to know what happens, to unravel the mystery, to see good triumph. You have to sustain it, keep it warm, feed it, just a little bit, not much at a time, as your story goes on. That's called suspense. It can bring desire to a frenzy, in which case you are in a good position to bring off a wonderful climax.

I freely admit that in my Cornish Detective novels, I like to lead my readers astray, laying out enough slippery red herrings to trip them up, and I hope that my climaxes leave them in a lather of excitement, eager for the next one, but I'd never previously thought that I was seducing them....

If anything, I compared what I do to a magician's act, with stagecraft and misdirection before the startling revelation.

I'd better modify my technique...how about you?

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Absolutely not. Tempt them in, maybe. It'll grab them or it won't. I want to make someone to walk alongside for the stretch of the path I want to take them. They'll do that if we synchronise and they won't if we don't. If I'm not writing erotica, I want no sweating, panting or anything involving spouts.

Sniff. Horrors. Smelling salts.

Male or female makes no odds. Magician's more like it. Or The Hermit.

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Maybe with really good -- really amazing writers. It's not how I write.

I suppose whether this applies would also depend on whether you are someone who even seduces others. It's interesting how this presupposes everyone has acted as a seductress and so naturally understands what this means when in reality there are a lot of people who don't go to a lot of effort in this area, a lot of people who don't care to, or need to, and who aren't any the worse for lacking in seduction experience.
 
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