Guest & Contest: Joan Swan

Are you an impatient reader?

Over the last couple of years, I’ve become the very type of reader I’ve spent years trying to engage—the impatient one.

As a less experienced writer, I toiled in my frustration with “expert” wisdom of capturing the reader within the first five pages, the first paragraph, the first line for God’s sake. The concept nearly drove me to premature writer-pattern baldness.

Now, many years and several manuscripts later, I have become the very type of reader I then loathed. The one needing to be immediately charmed, shocked, seduced, or even scared into staying with a novel.

As a writer, I feel as if I should feel guilty admitting this. As if I should long to bask in the luxurious flow of words on the page (or screen). But, honestly, I don’t. I write. I mother. I wife. I work. I live. And all in a world churning at the speed of an industrial blender’s puree setting.

Therefore, I don’t read as much as I should, because my interest is difficult to hold. (And no, I’m not ADHD–unless my environment has driven me to it.) I become frustrated with redundant description, dawdling action and flailing subplots.

Double, triple, quadruple duty people — that’s what I’m talking about. Make every scene pull triple its weight and then we’ve got movement! Cut the unnecessary description. Snap that dialogue. Ditch extra gestures and transitions. Pump those verbs. Dump the introspection.

Impatient readers want to know what happens next in the story, how it affects the characters and how they will handle it. Yes, we love wit, we love beautiful prose, but make it work. Oh, and don’t tell us about it…show us.

Are you an impatient reader?

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Joan Swan is a triple RWA® Golden Heart finalist and writes sexy romantic suspense with a paranormal twist. Her debut novel with Kensington Brava, FEVER, releases February 28, 2012. Her second novel, BLAZE, follows in October, 2012.

In her day job, she works as a sonographer for one of the top ten medical facilities in the nation and lives on the California central coast in beautiful wine country with her husband and two daughters.

My links: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

In addition to our contest below, Joan wanted us to tell you about her tour’s grand prize. All comments are eligible for tour grand prize of either a COLOR NOOK or KINDLE FIRE. Enter:

Contest details:

  • The prize is a print copy of Fever.
  • The contest is open to US and Canadian residents over the age of 18.
  • You must leave a meaningful comment for entry.  This means your comment needs to be more than “please enter me in the contest”.
  • A valid email address needs to be included in your comment.  If you’re worried about spam, please modify your address, such as admin.bookblog AT  You can also send a message to this email after your comment has been posted.
  • While following the blog isn’t required, it is appreciated.
  • The contest ends on Sunday, March 11.

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