Tuesday, September 22, 2015

What Do Readers Want to Read?

Have you ever been reading a story, and you put it down because it’s terrible? It just doesn’t offer anything for you as the reader to bite into. It got me to thinking: what do we want from fiction? Here’s a few ideas.

(1) Escape
Some people want fiction to allow them to escape from the reality they know. A story that takes them clear away from their lives.
(2) Change
Some readers desire fiction to inspire change. These works create waves in the real world and things can be changed for the better because of these works.
(3) Laughs
Belly laughs are desired by some readers. They want a sublime humor, the kind that is critical of humanity—critical, but hopefully kind because it is darn hard to be a human these days.
(4) Challenge
Some want the tales to be like puzzles they have to solve. These works don’t worry about explaining themselves. They present reality in an amazingly complicated way, on their own terms.
(6) Happy Ever After
Perhaps, because of a difficult life, a reader seeks a HEA ending.

(7) Surprise
Some readers want to be shown aspects of the human condition they’ve never seen before. It may be a surprising turn of phrase, an image or a scintillating piece of dialogue—if the surprise element is present, this prose is gratifying.
(8) Suspense
There are those who love suspense, crave excitement. Will the villain harm the hero? Will the hero get away? Will humanity as we know it survive?
(9) Real Characters

They want characters so real, so well-drawn that they feel like they know them intimately and care about them completely.
(10) Meditative quality
Some people need their fiction to be like a drug, something they can get lost in.
*Before you write, it’s important to know some of the things readers want from their fiction, so that you can deliver the goods in your stories. Before you write, make a list of some of the things you like fiction to give you. What makes a great story great? For, ultimately, you are giving a gift with your fiction to your readership.

What do you want to give?

January Bain/Angelina J. Windsor
Seventh Son


Catherine1216 said...

I find that what I want from writing changes from day to day. This is why I have a big stack of books to read.

Veronica Helen Hart said...

Great idea to consider what your book is offering a reader. As a frequent judge of competitions I look for just about all of the above. If a book says it is humorous, it darned well better have humor in it, not just forced dialogue trying to be funny. And if it is escapism, then I look for great world-building. And so on.

Now that I've turned the tables after reading your post, I'm looking at my two WIPS - Midnight in Mongolia is a combination of escapism and humor, a little suspense and education. Talk to the Knife (working title-I'm thinking of Anonymous in New York), is a paranormal romance, so that would be escapism and suspense. Hmm. Thanks for the blog.