Monday, March 31, 2014

I'M EXPECTING!

Recently, I was told by my editor…
That when a person buys a book…
There’s an expectation…
And it's up to the author
To meet the readers expectation.
And of course the reader has an expectation
Because doesn’t everything we buy…
Come with an expectation?
Say for instance Jello…
If I buy Jello and make it
I expect it to, well, gel. Or is it Jel?
If I buy eggs…
I expect when I crack the shells…
To find eggs inside.
So why hadn’t I thought about expectations…
When I was writing my manuscript?
But in my defense…
It wasn’t like I was trying
To short circuit the author's expectations  
I enjoyed every word I wrote in the story 
Ah, and there’s the rub…
“I” was enjoying writing the story.
And what’s wrong with you that, you might ask?
Nothing, if I was the only one going to read my book.
My editor also pointed out that the reader
When reading my book
Might have a dialog in their head
That goes something like this…
“Why doesn’t she leave her putz of a husband?
Will she ever kiss the hero?
Why is there all this backstory? I’m not dumb!
Why is this chapter even in the book?
Or, huh? 
I thought I was reading a romance…
And now it's switched to contemporary? C’mon!”
And I’m not saying that the reader…
Would have a bitch session with other readers…
But in the reader’s mind these objections…
Might make them put my book down…
And use it as a coaster for their coffee cup.
Or worse - never buy from me again1
So?
My question to you, dear writer is this…
Do you picture your reader when you write?
How do you do it?
And do you have someone in particular?

Always,
Em-Musing

P.S. Coming soon—with soon being a relative concept—I will be providing details on my upcoming Writer’s Retreat.






10 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

My last two books were written with my readers in mind. After reading feedback from the first one, I was tying to give them what they wanted.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've become better at picturing my reader. I think that comes with experience.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I don't know. Writing for an audience of you is still an audience. It may not be a best selling audience, but there's got to be people out there that think and appreciate the things that you like. That in itself is "some" book sales. I guess that if you want to be a best seller, you could do a lot to find out what the most popular kind of book buyer likes to read and then write that book. Twilight anyone?

farawayeyes said...

This is something I had never really thought about. I tend to write for myself. I think I'm keeping the reader in mind, but maybe not. I am terribly guilty of 'excessive backstory'; probably because when I read I want to know the whole story. I can see that this is something important to consider.

BUT, I think like Michael, do I want to write a copycat best seller or do I want to tell my own stories and hope that they resonate with an audience. Aren't we all a little tired of the romance with a supernatural creature, or the tough chick who saves the world. These stories started out as YA, OK I almost get that with that particular audience, but today they have crossed over into just about everything. I get excited when a book blurb is about something a little bit DIFFERENT.

Adam said...

While not really novels, but I've seen many movies and video games that did something fans moaned about (e.g. Heath Ledger as Joker) only for it to turn out amazing in the end.

some people in simple terms don't know what to expect.

Creepy Query Girl said...

yes and no. I write my book first of all, for me- the kind of story I'd like to read. And then I open it up to beta readers and try to address any of the issues or 'expectations' they might have that I hadn't thought of. Usually, this might mean certain scenes need to be rewritten or a plot line embelished or changed but I've never had to compromise the entire premise of my work, so I guess there's that!:)

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