Saturday, May 13, 2023

What do readers really want?


May 13, 2023

What do readers really want in a story? It's one of those "magic bullet" questions to which, if we knew the answer, we could deliver the perfect story. I've been writing for over twenty years and I still don't have a proper response. 

It's raining today. I spent half a cup of coffee gazing out the window into the woods watching a single deer move silently through the trees, carefully choosing each delicate hoof fall on its journey to a place it knows may be dryer. The woods are so very green this season, and the fawn-brown deer stood out against the foliage. The rain is more of a mist, and it blurs the vision, softening the appearance of everything in sight. Do readers want to know this? 

The heat pump sits just outside one of the sunroom windows. The fan came on and the water droplets on the top grillwork came to life, dancing and swirling before flying away to seek the wet ground. Do readers want to know this? 

It's begun to rain harder now, bringing myriad sounds to intrude into the clicking of my keyboard. There is the steady beat on the roof and an equally steady drip as water runs into the gutter and downspout. Do readers want to know this? 

Or as one of my colleagues has suggested, do readers only want to visualize naked bodies straining toward a joint peak and use the writer's imagination as to the sounds of their lovemaking? 

Writing to please only other readers, and I say 'other readers' because I am the first reader of my story, or writing to a particular market as it can be called, can be a recipe for disaster. The writer attempts to become a psychic, a mind reader, to please what they hope will be a huge readership and reap those rewards. 

I've never been very successful at mind-reading. It's not part of my skill set. I plod along in the dark, never knowing if a story will turn out the way someone else will like. Did Harper Lee and Margaret Mitchell expect their stories would become literary classics? 

Probably not when they first sat down to write those stories. Whether they started with a mere kernel of an idea or the entire story came to them as dawn broke, there was no way for them to anticipate the impact of their words. They simply told their story the way it should be told. 

It has occurred to me that's the way it's supposed to be and I would do better to emulate them. 


Social media links:
Life through the eyes of my black Lab, Greenbrier Smokey Deuce:
My country life at The Hideaway/Holly Tree Manor:
Snips and clips on my YouTube channel: KC Kendricks Between the Keys

KC Kendricks, Between the Keys, writers on writing, gay romance novels, LGBTQ romance, m/m romance, a writer's life, rainy days, bestselling authors, Kindle romance novels

No comments: