Saturday, February 4, 2012

Great Expectations

The other day I asked a nine year old girl what she was reading. She answered, "The Magic Thief." I asked her what she liked about it. "It has everything you would expect from a book."

A reader has expectations, either great or small; she wants the pages to draw her in and pull her along until the final page, where her expectations are fulfilled, and she reaches, hopefully, for the next book.

Those who teach creative writing say the worst sin a writer can commit is to bore his reader. Write, then, not for yourself, but for the reader.


  1. That's why we have to let bad things happen to our beloved characters, which I sometimes find hard. Good reminder.

  2. I mostly agree, but when does writing for the reader become the same as writing for the market?
    Where is the line? Thoughts, anyone?

  3. Don't bore the reader! What great advice - to keep the reader interested, entertained,and grabbed by the character's dilemmas spurred by the changing plot problems. I think you can write both for the reader, by keeping the atmosphere charged with the unknown, as well as write for the market which can be fairly different, perhaps focsuing on curent concerns but still thrilling the reader by casting the MC into a current mix of problems. And, what an insightful nine year old to expect and enjoy what a book has to offer!

  4. What Elmore Leonard said -- "Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip."