Three E's of Authorship Date added: 8/22/2017 12:08:15 AM
THREE E’s OF AUTHORSHIP
By Patrick Witz
August 18, 2017
Authors of all generations, from Shakespeare to J.K. Rowlings, write with purpose. That purpose can be self-fulfilling, an internal need, income related, ego, personal memoir, fun, or umpteen other possible reasons lurking in the minds of individuals with fingers posed and ready on pen, typewriter or computer. However, all who write are not necessarily authors. The very essence of an author comes down to achieving three things and those should be every author’s goal… the Three E’s of Authorship: To Entice, Engage, and Entertain his or her readers.
ENTICE: “To attract (someone) especially by offering or showing something that is appealing or interesting.”
Have you ever attempted to read a book that was unappealing or not to your liking? It’s hard to do (remember High School English Literature?). Did you read it, or more likely toss it aside for use as a doorstop? Enticement isn’t just the written words in a story. Enticement is equivalent to a successful first date… those all-important first impressions… the book’s cover; the blurbs or reviews on the back cover; the typeface and overall look of the book. To sum up enticement, it’s salesmanship, it’s marketing, and it’s time well spent by any author (or publisher for that matter), to make all the hard work and effort shine. Keep this in mind, the first thing a reader does is look at the cover; second: the back cover; third: the first page. In the first thirty seconds, if the cover, back cover, and first page aren’t appealing, the reader (not unlike a second date that’ll never happen) moves on to more enticing interests.
ENGAGE: “To offer (something, such as one's life or word) as backing to a cause or aim : to expose to risk for the attainment or support of some end : to attract and hold by influence : to hold the attention of : to induce to participate.”
Readers and authors need to be like compatible partners before getting married… become engaged. This pre-marriage of author with readers is critical to the success of any story/book. Readers need to be attracted to the author, not physically (although that doesn’t hurt), but to his or her writing style and adhesion to expected pure or blended genres. Authors (not unlike street flashers) expose themselves to the scrutiny of readers… the risk, authors never know how the reader will react… like, laugh, be disgusted, or just get ignored. It’s important that Authors engage their readers immediately in the first sentence, paragraph, page, “The Hook”, to keep readers wanting more, to continue to read and be enthralled with the storyline and become one with the characters. If the story/book doesn’t keep the reader’s attention, the reader gives the “It’s not you, it’s me!” speech and moves on to someone that WILL keep them engaged.
ENTERTAIN: “Amusement or diversion provided especially by performers : to hold the attention of pleasantly or agreeably; divert; amuse : to admit into the mind; consider : to hold in the mind; harbor; cherish.”
Authors are for the most part silent puppeteer performers… they may not actually be physically performing, but they create and manipulate their characters, not unlike puppets, and place them in imaginative settings. Then the author puppeteer makes those characters do, say, perform whatever is necessary to entertain an audience, their readers. The objective of the author is to divert the reader’s attention away from his or her “real” world and whisk them away into the author’s created world. Once there, the author’s intent is to set the stage and evoke or titillate an emotional response out of the reader: amuse, fear, angry, happy, sad, frustrated, grossed out zombies… or whatever. An author strives to open an emotional doorway into the mind of his or her reader. Emotions, regardless of type, are in fact - entertaining… think of scary stories, tear-jerking tragedies, belly-laughing comedies, can’t stop reading zombie disgust, bursting happy cheers, or sweet/cute tender smiles. If an author is skilled, that level of entertainment goes beyond the emotional storyline objective. Whereby the story/book becomes a cherished read, is often reread, and shared countlessly times with other readers for their entertainment.
So the next time you sit with pencil, typewriter or computer in hand, remember to repeatedly ask yourself, did I succeed in the Three E’s of Authorship: Entice, Engage, and Entertain, as they are the key elements to becoming a skilled author that will create the next bestselling story or book.
Patrick Witz is an author, photographer, artist, teacher and editor of Placer Gold Publishing (imprint Placer Gold Writers Ink). He created the book cover and wrote seven of the fifteen short stories in Placer Gold Writers Ink’s anthology, "Through Button Eyes: A Collection of Short Fiction", that was selected from approximately 5000 national and international entries as one of five medaled finalists in the Anthology Division of the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards (NGIBA).
"Through Button Eyes" contains fifteen fabulous short stories that span thirteen different genres, wherein the seven authors skillfully integrated one seemingly innocuous plot point into every story, a simple button. This diverse book offers readers an opportunity to experience their preferred and as well new genres that will most assuredly give readers an emotional roller-coaster ride of excitement, fear, laughter and tears. (Sci-Fi, Dystopia, Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Romance, Swashbuckler, Suspense, Tragedy, Literary Fiction, Memoir, Coming of Age, LGBT, and Comedy Horror)