Kevin and I were watching TV. Or rather, Kevin was surfing the channels while I was watching scenes of shows flicker past. He stops for about five seconds then flips on, as if he's sure he can find something better. I'd comment more on this, but that's a different blog.
During one of those pauses, I watched a woman wheeling a gas grill into a bedroom. A man was lying helplessly on the bed watching her.
Flip. Another program filled the screen.
"Kevin," I said. "How can you possibly turn that? For heaven's sake, a woman is pulling a gas grill into a bedroom. Don't you have to know what happens next?"
He shook his head at me, but turned back to the movie. We sat and watched the rest of it, spellbound. The movie was adapted from a Stephen King book, and it really made me think. Does my writing do that? If a reader were to open my manuscript to a random scene, would she just have to know what happens next? Would she be spellbound from that point on?
If you're a writer, open your WIP to a random scene and put it to the channel surfing test. If it doesn't pass, what can you do to make it more intriguing? If you're writing a romance, you sure won't want something as bizarre as a woman with a grill. But whatever you do, make sure your readers will be asking themselves "What's going to happen next?".