Friday, February 28, 2020

How to engage the reader into the story world?

A story is simply a series of events involving real or imaginary people linked by cause and effect. So, it can be real or fiction. It is very creative work and requires some tricks to finish it successfully. One of the great challenges for story writers is to make the reader involve in the story world. In this article, I am going to share with you one best trick to make the reader engage in the story world with different logic and analysis.

You as a story writer need to make your reader believe in your story world. Reader should believe the plot, character and all the activities whatever happening in the story. A successful story is what makes reader believe all these aspects even if it is imaginary. 
Facial expression of characters.
What makes human beings believe?  

We have a subconscious mind that controls our beliefs and experience. Every bit of our life experience is shaped by it. Even though it has immense power, it has a very interesting feature-it doesn't distinguish what is real or imaginary. This implies that it is not necessary to be a real story to make the reader believe. The reader also believes in an imagined story as real. If you can activate your reader's subconscious mind, he completely believes what you tell whether it is real or imaginary. You can be free of fear while writing an imagined story by knowing this fact since the subconscious mind doesn't care real or imaginary. The important thing is to make it active.

How the subconscious mind is activated? 

Our subconscious mind is mostly concerned with feelings and emotions. So, to activate this mind, feeling(emotion) should be induced. What we are feeling is perceived as real. Without feeling and emotion, we cannot sense anything. So, you should evoke the feeling in the reader to make them happy, sad, frustrated, angry, etc. in the story world. Your reader sense what the character is experiencing when you induce feeling. At this moment, when your character is happy, the reader also feels happy; when character is sad, the reader also feels sad. The question may arise, how the feeling(emotion) can be induced?

In his famous book "Awaken the giant within", Tony Robbins mentioned that emotion is created by motion. He argues that emotions are linked to movement in our bodies; body language sends signals to the brain about how we are feeling and experiencing at a given time. This implies, to create emotion, we have to develop the motion of the character or exhibit body language. Body language is non-verbal communication which reveals true feelings and emotion through movement, such as facial expressions and the movement of eyes, hands and other body parts. It is the language of gesture and posture that reveals the state of mind.  According to Albert Mehrabian’s 7-38-55 Rule,  "55% of our communications are through body language, 38% through tonality, and only 7% through words." This shows that if you reveal the character's body language, you can successfully transmit the feeling of characters to your readers.

To make further analysis, the notion of psychiatrist David Fink is of very significance. Dwight V. Swain, in his book "Techniques of the best selling writer", mentioned the Fink's quotation as “When you understand the feelings of one of the characters in the moving picture, you are copying his tensions. You are feeling in yourself something of what he feels in the fictional situation. You are understanding the story with your muscle tensions and with the spasm of your intestines and with your glandular secretions. Without these reactions, the show would have no meaning.”  

It is evident, to understand the feelings of character, you should show the character's body language, how he is in motion, facial expression, posture, and gesture, etc. It is also necessary to inform the reader directly and indirectly why he is in that posture and gesture. This conclusion can be expressed by the following prescription.

1. Show body language-(what/how)-in motion.
2. Inform why-directly/indirectly.

Why the advertisements with moving pictures, capture attention more quickly than those in static conditions? Because motion drag our mind. Static is boredom. So, you should present your character with movement and body language. The above prescriptions are the outcome of my long term study and research. This prescription also satisfies the golden rule of fiction writing "Show, don't tell".  I use this in my fiction writing. It works for me. You can try it to draw the reader in your story world. This is one of the major required conditions to make the story successful.   


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