Have you ever asked yourself why a suspenseful story sucks you in and you can’t wait to find out ‘who done it?’ Is it the violence or the action that keeps us reading a thriller? Is it because the killer’s MO is something you’ve never heard of and it intrigues you?
Face it, if you don’t care about the character and the emotion of the story – no amount of action or violence will keep you reading.
Stories are all about the safety, relationship, struggles, happiness, or sadness of our main characters. If we, the reader, aren’t invested in the story-line, we won’t care about the plot surrounding them.
That scenario rings true for the villain also. If you don’t care about why he kills – then it’s just not enough to keep the reader hooked.
So again, it boils down to the deeper meaning behind the action. Why is the heroine running for her life? Why does the hero go back into the burning building? Why does the villain always leave a small tattoo behind the victim’s ear?
Bring your characters to life through solid development and make the action mean something. Creating motivation for their actions is the most difficult part of writing. After all, it’s the emotional connection that brings everything to life.