Someone once said that good writers are constantly wondering if their writing is good enough for their readers; bad ones have absolutely no doubt about their writing nor do they care if their readers like their writing or not. I didn’t believe this until I one day, while I was working on my novel, I asked myself, “Will my readers like this?” When I put a pen to the paper, I wonder how other readers will perceive my story. Will they understand my characters and get into the story the way I want them to? Ultimately, I won’t know this until my novel is published and readers begin reading it.
We should be aware of our own writing and how readers will perceive it. They are our customers after all; without them to read our stories, what is the point of writing? While no two readers are alike, we should treat our readers equally. They are doing you a favor by buying your book and reading it. Here are a few things to keep in mind when being aware of your readers:
- don’t assume they will understand everything in your story; explain things which they might not understand.
- make sure your characters and stories are real to YOU, or they won’t be to your reader.
- when editing, switch yourself to reader mode. Read your story as a reader and not as a writer. Is your story flowing as well as when you first wrote it?
- what type of readers are you targeting? What is it they are looking for in stories? Can they relate to your characters?
- be aware of the vocabulary you using in narrative and dialogue. Unless you’re writing literature, don’t use advanced vocabulary; you don’t want your readers having to consult the dictionary every two pages
- not every reader will like your story. There’s always one person that just doesn’t find your book appealing – accept it and move on.