How does a writer persuade a reader to follow their story to the end? My experience with 'Greasy Lake' by T. Coraghessan Boyle showed me how.
So, what kept me reading?
The fact that Boyle is a gifted writer helped immensely. He crafted a bunch of words that described to my mind's eye a place I would never go to on purpose, nor would I care to associate with his "bad characters." He mixed that with a plot, an artful arrangement of incidents. As these incidents built on each other to create suspense, I found I couldn't read fast enough to see what would happen next.
It was as if Boyle knew I was going to read his story and knowing I would not relate, he throws in a bit of info that changes the way I felt about his 'bad boy narrator.' In the midst of this nasty setting, the narrator clues me in that he is driving his mother's Bel Air. Now, all of a sudden, I am thinking about a loving mother who is home worrying about her son who has gotten himself mixed in with the wrong crowd.
It's all part of Boyle's plot, by using exposition, to get me to now care about what happens to this loving mother's delinquent son. I find myself hoping he will get home safe with her car intact.