I am such a sucker for real love. Not the kind that these reality shows depict but the ones that you feel when you are reading a great novel. I am also a sucker for a great emotional read.
One of my good friends, Jen Buckley, is a great reader and great critic. She recently described a book that she read; Give Me Your Hand by +MeganAbbott "as an amazing read with twists and turns." She said she had "to stop multiple times because of the twists and turns but by the end of the book it had her screaming, what the F***."
See, Megan Abbott got it right. She gave her readers, or at least Jen, an emotional reaction to her story line.
I learned at a conference, Thrillerfest to be exact, that each of your readers should be emotionally invested in your book by the middle of it. If they are not; you aren't doing a good job of telling a story.
I have a thing that I do on my Facebook page called, "Stepping onto my soapbox" and some times my followers/friends read it and are so emotionally attached to those three paragraphs that they are angry, happy, sad or just laughing so hard that they forgot that what I was saying may or may not have been true.
So when I read a book, I have to be emotionally yours, so to speak. I have to feel what you were feeling when you wrote it. I have to feel almost every emotional range that a human has and then be just like Jen at the end of the book.
What the F***...yeah, if you have me cursing at the end of the book, I'm emotionally yours.
So, make sure to read through your manuscript. Are you having an emotional reaction to your characters. If not; START OVER. Ir's that simple.