Karalee’s Post #9
A few weeks ago a friend of mine organized tickets to see Leonard Cohen.
Before buying them we sat around her table debating whether we should go. After deciding ‘yes’, there was the scramble to get the best seats in our price point. That done, we had to wait and wait for the day to arrive.
Anticipation set in, floating sweetly in our bodies with promises of good times ahead.
But there were spin-offs too. Other friends had bought tickets, so maybe we should get together for a drink before the show? Or better yet, why not dinner and drinks?
Anticipation kicks it up a notch and settles in, giggling away and disturbing one’s digestion.
Then the day arrives. Finally the evening too, and it’s time to get dressed and start the event. Dinner, drinks, and Leonard Cohen. Here we come.
Anticipation is in full swing now, playing a fast game of pinball in our minds. After dinner we make our way to Rogers Arena and sit in our seats facing the stage, enjoying the last bit of anticipation.
Then the show begins. The music is awesome, the night spectacular. Leonard Cohen sings and performs for over three hours. New songs and old songs with some poetry reciting in-between. Two encores and six encore songs later he still wants to keep going, but alas, had to stop. His time was up. The end.
Vancouver’s downtown curfew had closed him down! He literally ran off the stage to a standing ovation.
What a way to go.
The perfect end to anticipation.
And it’s the way I want a reader to feel about my story.
So what is in a book for a reader?
Like buying a ticket for a concert, buying a book gives a sense of anticipation. A book’s genre is a promise for the type of story within and can be the deciding factor for saying ‘yes’. (Yes, I want to read that genre, or maybe yes, I want to try a different genre).
Then there’s sweet anticipation before reading Chapter One. It may only last as long as the time to download an eBook, or it could be the time to drive home from the bookstore and slide under the bed covers, or it could be longer, even months until you have the time to start.
But once the first page is turned the show begins and the chapters fly by. A surprise here, a dramatic event there, then more twists and turns and the final climax before the loose ends are wrapped up. And all the while the main characters are with you, taking you on their adventure.
Does the author have anticipations too? You bet. The author wants his/her characters to keep the reader enthralled until the very end. And once there, wanting more.
You know, like Leonard Cohen leaving the stage to a standing ovation.