Writing Reader Observation #2

“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.”
—Samuel Johnson


Lifestyle Interruptus

This is a two parter. Interruptions in thrillers and romances.


The main character is involved in a supernatural battle. Will she win or lose? What does she have to aid her? She has a sword! She’s fighting! It’s thrilling!

Screeeeeeeeech. Stop action.

The writer has suddenly realized that she needs to talk about the sword, give its history, how it came to be in the main character’s hands…in the middle of the action…for more than a paragraph.

Do not interrupt your action sequence to talk about history or genealogy or the breakfast sandwich eaten earlier that day. Make a plan and discuss that sword earlier before undertaking the action scene. Sure, it might give a clue to the reader that the sword will have future importance, but it is significantly better than interrupting the action and diverting your reader’s attention and, perhaps, loyalty.



The two main characters are having a moment. There’s swoon. They are just about to share their first kiss…and then the author has the female main character remember what a nice guy the male main character was because she made really lousy brownies once and he pretended he liked them…right before the kiss. Really?

If you are about to kiss the guy of your dreams are you really going to think about…brownies…unless they feature into the current action, but let’s not go there.

As a writer, you want this to be seamless. Your readers have been waiting for this first kiss and you’ve essentially “kiss-blocked them.”


Lesson Learned: No kissus interruptus. No action interruptus. Stay focused on the importance of the scene you are creating. Related exposition should come before these important scenes.


Some resources:

Tips for writing fight scenes

Writing action scenes

How to write a fight scene

Authors share tips for writing love scenes


4 thoughts on “Writing Reader Observation #2

  1. Lol. Very good points. You are right if “that” is happening pretty much a girl is “in the moment” and it’s annoying reading a book and all of the sudden she’s thinking some romantic thing. Truly if she’s attracted to him as they both claim, brownies are only foreplay lol.

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