10 Things Readers Have in Common by Sharon (thesunlitdesk)

This morning I was reading a review of The book thief (Markus Zukas). The reviewer read the book based on recommendations from his friends who all said they loved it. Unfortunately the reviewer could find no reason to keep reading the book and abandoned it quite early. This led me to question how a writer knows s/he is a good storyteller in the face of so many mixed reviews. No two readers are the same, but there are commonalities, even across genres:

-All readers are looking for a good story. Chances are if you think it’s a good story, someone else will too
Readers tend to look for relevant topics, relevant to their own lives and society in general. Relevant topics can be incorporated into any genre
-Readers want originality. The theme is less important than the way it is told
-By and large readers want believable stories. Writers often bend reality, but good writer’s make readers believe in possibilities
-Readers want to indulge beyond their own experiences. Readers want drama, laughter, conflict, suspense
-Readers want emotion, but not sentimentalism
-Readers are investing time, and, if you’re lucky, money, in your words – a good storyteller is reliable and consistent. There is nothing worse than having a story lose momentum or stop making sense halfway through
-Readers want realistic endings. Whether the ending is surprising or predictable, it must be believable
-Most readers take it for granted that a storyteller has faith in their own storytelling ability. If you lack confidence in storytelling, it will become obvious very quickly and the reader is likely to lose interest
-Readers are as diverse as writers. If you remember that you can’t impress all readers all the time, you’re halfway there.

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About DigitalPlato

Poch is a Bookrix author and a freelance writer. He is a frequent contributor to TED Conversations.
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