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  • Nicole Meier

How to Improve Narrative Drive in your Novel

Narrative drive is that special quality in a book that grabs the reader, keeps them riveted, and makes them turn the page with a burning desire to keep reading.⁠ ⁠As writers, that's a quality (AKA skill) we'd all like to confidently possess. Right?⁠ ⁠


So what are some ways to accomplish this in a manuscript draft?⁠

1) Always be giving the reader new information (but don't overwhelm them!). Make sure to Include new insights and discoveries in each scene⁠.

2) Consider the amount of tension in each scene. Get clear on whether you intend for a slow burn or fast-paced action. Remember to add drama in the form of twists, turns, and roadblocks.

3) Make sure one event always leads into the next. Each action and decision should have an equal reaction and consequence. And above all else, keep the momentum moving forward⁠.

4) Make sure a common thread or theme is ever present⁠. In other words, don't confuse the reader with so many mini-events that they lose track of the main conflict.


Once you've tackled your draft, go back over the scenes to check for these elements. Bonus tip: Study a favorite novel if you need some examples.

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