While I was working of edits the other day, my son came out of his cave with his games and hooked them up in the front room. Normally I’d object, because I really don’t care for them, and I’d rather watch a show on the television than watch someone play. But, I was working on my novel and didn’t need to be distracted by watching TV, so figured it would keep my focus where it needed to be.
Regardless, I did get distracted. Have you ever watched the beginning of some of these video games? It’s like a movie. I found myself setting my laptop aside and holding my breath as the story unfolded. So, the island was taken over by zombies while the guy was passed out in his room and he wakes up to find he is only one of a handful of people still living. Omigod, I wanted more of that story.
And then I realized what I do and what the people who create these video games do, are the same thing. I’d just been hooked. As my son progressed through different stages of the game, it would play a little bit of the story, leaving me hanging until he worked to the next level.
Building a novel is much like a video game. You have a hook that draws the reader into the story, where they make it their own, creating a whole world in their head. You progress through the story, setting the characters up for the next big surprise, and at the end of that section, you leave the reader with a hanger to draw them into the next chapter.
Suddenly, video games don’t seem so boring anymore.
Watched any good ones lately?