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x-xJafax-x
How do you make your story last ??
Hey how do u keep the readers interested ??
Meh im nt vry gd at it
xwingace Tough question. :-)

A good plot is definitely important, as is a certain flair for story and characters. It also helps getting attention if you have a good title and summary. If you manage to generate enough initial interest, it'll last longer once people are actually reading your story.

Of course, if the way your story is written gives the reader a headache, then they're not very likely to keep reading. So it's also very important to pay attention to proper formatting, spelling, and grammar. Even seemingly nigglingly small mistakes can pile up and start to grate on the reader. Paying attention to these things is a courtesy that many readers will probably thank you for.

Hopefully this is somewhat helpful,

XWA

Michelle I think posting regularly definitely will keep your readers happy.
helluin XWA is right!

Readers skim the net looking for stories to read, and the summary is the only way to hook them into reading. There's a zillion stories out there with "read this, it's good!" or some variation in the blurb, and people just don't, because we're all so used to advertising that we're numb to it. You have to have something special, interesting, mysterious, exciting, or provocative about your story to draw people in, and then make them curious/interested with the blurb.

Also, the #1 thing that keeps readers entertained is the skill of your writing. The basics -- spelling, punctuation, grammar -- make a tremendous difference. If they're messed up, then reading your writing is a bit like trying to watch a very scratchy videotape with the sound messed up -- it's harder to figure out what's going on, and the mistakes can be distracting.

It's amazing how much basic writing skills help keep readers interested.

One other thing. For multi-chapter stories, keep in mind the pacing. Ten action chapters in a row filled with fight scenes get monotonous; so too would ten chapters of two people just talking to each other about this and that. Remember how movies will have slow bits, fast bits, big action bits, funny bits, and parts that focus on the individual characters and help you get to know them better. Vary your rhythm! That way, the story's always fresh, new, and taking a new turn.
morph I agree.

Cliff-hangers, while sometimes mean, can also help keep your readers interested. But don't use too many, or you'll make your readers frustrated. Also make sure that your characters, if they're OC's, are interesting to read, and try to keep everyone in character.
x-xJafax-x Wow thanks you guys it helped alot - i'll hopefully put this all to practise
Thanx for reading and replying
Hannah
x
Ryder Another thing to keep in mind is outlining your story. I'm usually just a write it as you go person, but for long, epic stories, I'll prewrite a bit. Sometimes not just an outline, but maybe just a list of things that need to happen, such as:

X becomes friends with Y.
A attacks X and Y.
Etc.

And when I hit it, I'll write in the chapter:

X becomes friends with Y. (Prologue)
A attacks X and Y. (Chapter Z)

Etc. If you plan it out, you can better pace it. Sometimes the list method works, and sometimes you need to outline it. I read in a book about writing prose that you can put major events on notecards and put them in the order you want them, and you can just change the order in order to better pace it.

I think that what keeps me hooked to really long stories is not only pacing, but character development. Instead of establishing at the beginning that X and Z are boyfriend/girlfriend, show how they get there mixed in with your main plot. Take a break in the action to show how Y has been affected by what has happened so far. All the suggestions above are very useful.

If you need to take a break, or won't be able to update for a while, let your readers know you haven't forgotten about them! One time I left my readers hanging for two months with no explanation after updating every couple of days for three months previous. When I posted the next chapter, no one reviewed! So let people know; put "On hiatus" in the summary, or something like that.

I think writing smaller stories on the side can also be useful, especially if they are so far from the scope of your epic story. It shows diversity from you as a writer, and lets the readers know that you are able to concieve plots and follow through with them. If you know a story won't be continued, why read it and never get a conclusion?

Make sure that at least one question is hanging at the end of each chapter. Make them want to know what happens!
Artemis_Rex Outlining, as Ryder suggested, is a Godsend.

Not only does it give you an idea of how you want to start, it lets you know what's going to be happening in the middle of your story and how it is going to end.

It also lets you keep track of character development and secondary plot arcs.

Formatting also is important. If a story is badly formatted, then people don't think you care, and if the author doesn't care, why should the reader?
DeathMan Write a story with pencil and paper,then have someone proof read it.After that type it and put a ridiculous amount of details,have it proof read,then cut some stuff out.Make sense?

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