Raising the Stakes: How to Keep Readers Hooked on a Series
Editors like to repeat the mantra to "raise the stakes" after each book in a fantasy series. Tension is what drives readers to turn the pages/tap the screen well past a reasonable time for turning off the lights. In writing fantasy, creating peril is the key ingredient. This presentation discusses how to increase the sense of jeopardy and conflict in a story that will make your characters more interesting, the plot more riveting, your villains more menacing, and the setting more intense—while influencing your readers to delay putting the book down in order to read just "one more chapter!"
Jeff Wheeler, author of the Amazon bestselling Kingfountain and Muirwood series, took an early retirement from his career at Intel in 2014 to become a full-time author. He is, most importantly, a husband and father, a devout member of his church, and is occasionally spotted roaming hills with oak trees and granite boulders in California or in any number of the state's majestic redwood groves. He is also one of the founders of Deep Magic: the E-zine of Clean Fantasy and Science Fiction (www.deepmagic.co). His latest book The Thief’s Daughter is a Wall Street Journal bestseller.