Event report

Conference 2014 - Arousing your Reader

Report published 17 July 2014

Arousing your Reader - Nikki Logan’s chemistry lesson!
As writers we need to build up a large and consistent following. Nikki explained the different ways in which we can hope to achieve this in her fascinating talk ‘Arousing the Reader’. Her research helped to explain the different ways in which readers can be aroused by effective fiction. Nikki was quick to point out that when she said ‘arousal’ she meant all the senses in many different situations, for example excitement, tension or fear.
Here’s a snippet of some of these intriguing insights …
• Our brains spend large parts of the day sifting important from less important information. The things that arouse our brains most are those that are noticed and remembered.
• It is our job as writers to arouse our readers’ brains by capturing those experiences to which they are addicted. 
• If we do this well, our readers’ brains will respond chemically to reading those experiences in the same way as in actually engaging in them.
• Readers devour those authors who offer the escapist and immersive experiences they are seeking by bonding with the characters and learning to care for them.
• Romance generally works best on women readers because they are aroused by shared experiences and emotions.
• Romantic novels act as a means of moderating emotional arousal levels during high stress periods or raising those arousal levels when the reader’s own life has become static and unexciting.

In her conclusion Nikki emphasised it’s the writer’s job is to deliver engaging experiences for the reader, do this continually and with a bit of luck, success will surely follow.

Report by Sheila Johnson

It's a fact

Barbara Cartland is regarded as the world’s most prolific author with over 700 titles. She wrote 550 + of those after leaving the Romantic Novelists’ Association in 1965 – in protest against the word ‘Romantic' in its title.