These few ingredients have long been proven to keep readers reading:
So fitting for Halloween is the perfect occasion to reveal one of the oldest and greatest genres that influences life-long reading. Mysteries. Both non-fiction and fiction mystery tales are supreme for wielding that whodunit momentum that builds healthy reading appetites. Good Old-fashioned Novelcliptics←new word for today let’s call them.
First this happens, which the first line of ANY good novelcliptic always pulls readers to the edge of their chair.
“It was 10:54 pm and she still wasn’t home…” Dun, dun, dun, dunnn…
…Oh my God! We’re like where is she… so we read on…
She was always so punctual. Tedious about time. She had her first cup of coffee no later than 6 am. Had showered and dressed by 7:10 am. And Mr. Pomroy could set his clock down to the second for when he’d hear her gutsy old Rambler stalling to turn over.
We’re now sick. Something’s happened to this ‘quiet, lovely, companionless woman.’ Nothing in the story as of yet has told us this. We don’t even know whether she’s white or black, or any other nationality. But we’ve guessed she’s petite, and fragile, and careful, and probably takes her coffee with lots of sugar and cream.
The story can move at this pace for thirty or forty more pages. We’re in no hurry. Remember, we’re snuggled up beneath our warm blanket lounging on our cushiony sofa. We want to take our time learning all about this petite, and fragile, and careful woman who probably ALWAYS washes her hands after using the restroom… like how she and Mr. Pomroy never shared a harsh word between them. ← See, We knew it! And how she would let Mr. Pomroy know if she would be away for any extended period of time. ← And we knew that too.
But then on about the sixtieth page we get to hear through the grapevine that she had been married before. Uh oh… What was that? We didn’t suspect this. We never expected she would be married to a Frank with the dark side from Timberland who wrote editorials for a daily newspaper and lived next door to his mother who always hated her. Could one or all of these things have something to do with why she hadn’t made it home?
For the next seventy-five pages or more, we’re licking our fingers turning pages as we delve into the lives that brought this evil ex-husband, crazy ex-mother-in-law, and this caring young woman together. This is good. Way too good.
We could have gone on like this for another twenty pages, but suddenly our phone is ringing, and there's us reaching for the switch that will stop the ringer as our brows rise higher with each impasse implication as Frank threatens that there is nowhere this woman can run or hide that he won’t find her.
Oh God! Frank did it! We throw up our hands. The phone stops ringing. We’re convinced, except we must go several more pages to find out that Frank has slipped into the woman’s new apartment on a few occasions before… and that Mr. Pomroy had witnessed this, but said nothing to investigators! What!?! What’s going on here? Maybe it’s not Frank. Maybe it’s good ole’ observant Mr. Pomroy instead.
We’re now on page 195. We hardly recognize three hours have zipped by. Not only Mr. Pomroy, and Frank, and the garrulous ex-mother-in-law, but it is the obsequious young woman as well throwing us through more hoops and loops as the tale slowly unravels.
It’s now midnight. The phone is turned off and we’re still curled up on the sofa with only five more pages to go of a four hundred and some odd page book. Still don’t know where the woman is, but we find her still yet living and breathing until the very last sentence: “Matters of the heart can quickly be tainted, masked, or censored. But the dormant conscience unwrapped of its flesh, feeds on eternal love, giving the hunter of its soul no place to hide.”
Simple 1-2-3, plain Jane, intrinsically provocative, but conciliatory tales keep the thoughts moving and readers reading. —Aaah, we love it! One story at a time.