Posted on 01/26/2021 at 03:56 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

In a recent Facebook post, we asked readers what feature of a book they absolutely could not live without.

Their answers revealed some of their pet peeves, indirectly or directly, and what many of them boiled down to was a lack of curiosity about what was going to happen, be it because of a predictable plot, flat characters, or any other surface-level reason.

This wouldn’t surprise award-winning author, editor, and book coach Susan DeFreitas at all.

Her latest column for Jane Friedman declares that the one thing your novel absolutely must do is inspire curiosity in a reader.

Otherwise, what incentive do they have to read about your well-rounded character, your lushly described settings, or anything else you’ve sweated over?

DeFreitas offers advice on how to arouse curiosity in your reader at different points of the novel on Friedman’s blog.

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