How to keep your readers attention?
What's the magic behind a book or short story that is completely impossible to put down? Every once in a while we all come across one that will have you staying up all night just so you can know what happens at the end.
How do these authors do it? How do they keep you reading, even against your will?
The answer is simple but the mechanism is harder to put in motion. To keep your readers entertained in your book you need to raise a very big question at the beginning that will motivate your reader to continue past the first page of your story.
How to raise questions in your story?
If your killer question is good enough people will read until the end to find the answer. This will keep their attention sustained throughout your story and they will happily plough through your book to get to the end.
How to raise questions when writing a novel?
If you're writing a novel, you will need to raise your killer question in the first chapter, and you will also need to raise smaller questions throughout your novel in each chapter.
You must be careful when doing this as all questions will need to be answered or else your readers will feel cheated especially if they have gotten to the end to find their questions have not been answered satisfactorily.
It is also important to raise questions and not immediately answer them so that you can build up tension and create a gripping story. You could even make your reader work for the answers by leaving hints and clues which they can use to guess what will be the answer.
The big question should only be answered at the end of your story and will form the finale of your novel.
How to raise questions when writing a short story?
Again you will need to raise a pretty big question right at the beginning of your story, as soon as you can. The process of raising questions in a short story is very similar to raising them in a novel, except on a much smaller scale.
In a short story your questions should be closely focused upon your protagonist, aka, main character.
Raise questions throughout but do answer them!
It's vitally important to answer all your questions sufficiently by the end or else your story would not have been worthwhile to read. Your readers will feel cheated and betrayed if they are left hanging.