Monday, October 10, 2011
The Care & Feeding of Readers
We've looked at the care and feeding of writers, but what about readers? What can we do as writers to make the reading experience a pleasure? What can readers do to enhance enjoyment of a story?
1. Remember the reader cannot see what you envision. They need description, showing, and great word choices to paint a picture in their minds.
2. Have mercy and eliminate those favorite words or at least use them sparingly. When readers see a word too many times in a book, they start counting. Guess what? It pulls them out of the story.
3. The reader hasn't looked over your shoulder while you poured over research material. Define terms they may not understand.
4. As a follow-up to number 3 above, don't try to impress your reader with all your technical knowledge. Not everyone in your audience is a doctor, nurse, engineer, computer geek, etc. Realism is good, but losing your reader isn't.
5. Pray for your reader as you write, as you brainstorm with others, and as you develop your characters and storylines.
1. If you hate long novels, avoid anything thicker than an inch.
2. Know your reading style. Do you read on the go? An eReader might be a great investment. Does the look and feel of a "real" book make you happy on the inside? Find a comfy chair and settle down with one.
3. Does a genre make you want to run out of the room screaming? For your peace of mind and the author's, please don't buy it and then post nasty reviews on Amazon or your blog.
4. I like books that are stand-alone novels, but are also a series. Tamara Alexander's Fountain Creek Chronicles gave me many hours of reading pleasure. If you enjoy following characters from one book to another, feed the reader within by picking up a series.
5. Before you choose a book, do your homework. Read reviews, blogs, author websites, and author interviews. You'll feel more confident in your selections, and there will be less chance of disappointment.
Writers and readers: Do you have any suggestions for the care and feeding of the reader?