What makes a page turner?
That’s the million dollar question. I really don’t know for sure. I have some ideas—a compelling story, memorable characters, fascinating plot, suspense.
But while there are certain general rules to follow, I think whether or not a story is a page turner depends on the reader.
As a writer, we’re told not to end a scene or a chapter with someone going to sleep, or leaving a room. It’s better to put the scene break right before the ending of the scene, to end the chapter in the middle of what’s happening.
But even stories that don’t do that will cause me to keep reading, to keep turning the pages, if they hook me.
Certain types of stories interest me. I love historicals. I love sassy heroines and alpha heroes with a trace of vulnerability. Wondering what will happen to them will make me keep reading to the very end. Multi-layered characters draw me into the story. A plot that’s believable, fun or whimsical will keep me turning pages to get to the end.
Humor will also make me turn the pages. If I’m laughing, I’ll keep reading. I’ll stay up all night if I have to in order to prolong that feeling and to keep up with the story.
Contemporaries with a beautiful love story will pull me in. A story that conveys urgency, that makes me wonder what happens next, that sticks with me and makes me want to find out what happens next. A story that I can relate to, where I can envision myself in the role of the heroine, will extend the story even when I’m not reading it and will make me excited to get back to it.
So tell me, what makes a story a page turner for you? Or conversely, what makes you stop reading?