Wednesday Word: Captivate

Deb Runs

(I love writing prompts, so I was thrilled to see this series from Deb Runs. She has a cool blog linkup for each week’s word — check it out if you’re a blogger.)

Today’s Wednesday Word is “captivate.” When I read it, I immediately thought of two things: my goals for my writing, and the way I feel about my characters.

In a literary culture that recently seems to prize irony and detachment, I often feel like an iconoclast. Rather than write “cool,” I tend to write “hot.” (Not romance spicy-hot, so much, though Letting the Body Lead definitely had its moments.)

I want readers to be passionately engaged with my characters’ passions. I want to evoke laughter and tears in equal measure. I want to provide an experience so captivating that it keeps readers up past their bedtimes. (I must have succeeded with Etched On Me, because many reviewers and book bloggers told me I’d wrecked their plans for an early night when they started reading it!)

One of the most important ways I can accomplish (or at least ensure I do my best trying to accomplish) that goal for my readers is to ask myself, Am I captivated by this narrative? This protagonist? The process has to start with me, because if I’m not enraptured with them, a reader certainly won’t be.

Sometimes it takes me a while to get into the groove on a project, or to get to know my characters. But I can honestly say that I adore them and find myself caught up in their journeys. In fact, my characters make repeat appearances in my books for that very reason!

I hope this post has given some insight into my literary process. And I’d love to know: what characters and books have captivated you?

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5 thoughts on “Wednesday Word: Captivate

  1. Believe it or not, the Harry Potter books had me totally captivated, even more than my kids. I read the books multiple times…each time a new book came out, I re-read the entire series. I know, #HarryDORK 😉 I loved Harry, though, because despite all of his magical powers, never used them for his own gain. The series told the story of good vs. evil, and showed how some used their powers for destruction while others did not. I have not yet gotten the new book….really late to the party on that one LOL

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